Senate Expresses Concern over Abia Political Turmoil

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Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia

The Senate monday expressed worry over the tussle for the governorship seat of Abia State which has plunged the state into political crisis.

A delegation of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee made known the feelings of the upper chamber of the National Assembly during a courtesy visit to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu during which they also condoled with the families of late Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Senator Onyekachi Okoroafor.

The leader of the delegation Senator Biodun Olujimi, who said they were in Abia at the instance of the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, added that the Senate was solidly behind the state governor in his present travails.

“The authentic and indomitable Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, we are here with the consent of the Senate President and Chairman of the National Assembly, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and on behalf of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to condole with you and the entire people of Abia State in this trying times, first over the political situation in Abia and over the death of your illustrious sons, Chief Ojo Maduekwe and Senator Onyeka Okoroafor.

“Your Excellency, the Senate is solidly behind you in this trying time. You have our support as the governor of the state, we are elected to make laws as lawmakers and it is our duty to ensure that our laws are not abused. We are aware of the political situation in Abia, be rest assured that the Senate is with you,” Senator Olujimi said.

Other members of the Senate delegation include, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senator Theodore Orji, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, Senator Barnabas Gemade, Senator Samuel Anyanwu and Senator Sonni Ogbuoji.
Abia descended into chaos following the judgment passed by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja who nullified Ikpeazu’s election over alleged false information on his tax papers. The court ordered that the plaintiff, Dr Uche Ogah, who came second in the governorship of PDP should be sworn in as governor.

The prompt issuance of certificate of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to Ogah further compounded the political situation as Ikpeazu obtained a court injunction restraining the state Chief Judge and other judicial officers from swearing in Ogah.

As it stands now, Abia State is waiting with bated breath for the Appeal Court to resolve the logjam. But from the body language of the feuding parties, it is most likely that the Supreme Court would eventually have the final say on the issue.