Ikpeazu Sack: Abia State Govt Challenges INEC, Insist Serving Notice of Appeal

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The Abia State Government on Thursday said it served the Independent National Electoral Commission the notice of appeal filed by Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu against the ruling of the Federal High Court that removed him as governor.

In a statement by the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Umeh Kalu, the Abia State Government faulted any contrary notion, attaching the copy of the Notice of Appeal endorsed by an official of the Commission.

The proof service showed that INEC received the two important documents and it was signed for by Saleh N. Ibrahim, a Senior Clerical Officer in the Legal Services Department of the Commission’s Headquarters, Abuja.

Ibrahim stamped the Notice of Appeal and Injunction with the Commission’s official stamp at 12.50pm on June 29, 2016.

Kalu said: “It’s unfortunate that INEC said that it was not served. But the truth is that they were served. I have a proof to that. Saleh N. Ibrahim, Senior Clerical Officer at the Legal Services Department of the Commission’s Headquarters, Abuja, who stamped the Notice of Appeal and Injunction with the Commission’s official stamp by 12.50pm on Wednesday, June 29, 2016.

“With the foregoing, it is now clear that the Commission had no reason or cause to proceed with their dangerous action of issuing a Certificate of Return to Dr. Uche Ogah when it was clearly in receipt of a Notice of Appeal and Stay of Execution expressly forbidding them from taking any further action on the Judgment of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court pending the determination of the Appeal in the case.

“It is rather surprising that the Commission could lend itself to be used for an act capable of destabilizing a State in Nigeria with the attendant consequences for anarchy and breakdown of law and order.

“The Abia State Government wishes to reiterate for the umpteenth time that Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu remains the Governor of Abia State irrespective of whatever order was issued by the Federal High Court and the consequential actions of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) pending the full exhaustion of all judicial avenues of seeking redress.

“Abia State is a peaceful State consisting of law-abiding citizens but their patience should not be stretched and their civility taken for granted. The citizens of Abia State will resist any attempt to subvert their will which they freely expressed at the polls and which was affirmed by the Supreme Court.”

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