Keyamo: Ikpeazu’s Continued Stay in Office Unconstitutional

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Gboyega Akinsanmi

A human rights lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, on Wednesday said Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu’s continued stay in office “is constitutionally abnormal and legally paradoxical.”

Keyamo added that a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja nullified the nomination of Ikpeazu as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2015 governorship election in the state and Ikpeazu’s subsequent election as the state governor should not stand.

He stated this in a statement, saying the court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) “to issue a Certificate of Return to Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah, who scored the second highest number of votes in the primaries that produced Ikpeazu.”

As detailed in the statement, Keyamo, whose name appeared on the list of 2015 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) nominees, though was refused, noted that the candidate with an invalidated Certificate of Return should step in as the governor of Abia State.

He argued that having been issued a Certificate of Return, it “is constitutionally abnormal and legally paradoxical that a person with a validly issued Certificate of Return should not occupy that office immediately

“That is why the interim order restraining the Chief Judge of Abia State or any other judicial officer from swearing in Ogah is a non-sequitor as the judgment of Justice Okon Abang has already been complied with by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“The scenario we have now is that of a person, without any document entitling him to that office, occupying the office of Governor of Abia State, whilst a person who has both a valid court judgment and a valid Certificate of Return is unable to assume office as the state governor.”