Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has been sacked as governor of Abia State by a federal High Court sitting in Abuja, ordering him to vacate his office as governor with immediate effect.
The order was on the ground of an allegation that Ikpeazu submitted fabricated information to his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the party’s governorship primary in December 2014.
In his ruling, Justice Okon Abang on Monday June 27, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) to immediately issue a certificate of return to the complainant, Dr Samson Uche Ogah asking that the commission should cease the certificate of return issued to Governor Ikpeazu since he was never qualified to run for the party primaries as a governorship candidate.
The judge also mandated the Chief Judge of the state to swear in, Uche Ogah, his opponent who was one of the party’s aspirants in the said election and polled the second highest number of votes in the primary.
It was learnt that Ikpeazu was sacked from his office over fake tax returns during the PDP primaries.
Meanwhile, the sacked governor, speaking through his media office, says he will appeal the ruling as he had instructed his lawyers to immediately file an appeal against the said judgment. He urged the citizens of the state to remain calm, noting that he had faith in the judiciary.
On the allegation that he evaded paying taxes, he noted that he was duly issued with his tax receipts in 2014, having been an appointee of Abia State Government from 2011 to 2014, when he served as the General Manager, Abia State Passengers Integrated Manifest and Safety Scheme, ASPIMSS, and first Deputy General Manager, Abia State Environmental Protection Agency, ASEPA, Aba and environs, before his resignation in October 2014 to contest the governorship election.
He added that, being a civil servant, his taxes had always been deducted at source by the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue.
He maintained that he remains the Governor of the state according to law until the final determination of the matter by the appellate courts.
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