Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The South-East Democratic Coalition (SEDC) and the Abia Progressives Forum (APF) on Sunday in Enugu asked Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state to honourably relinquish the governorship seat of the state as a result of the inability of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal to exonerate him of alleged tax fraud in its last Thursday’s ruling.
The groups noted that despite the Court of Appeal ruling which upturned his sack by the Federal High Court, Abuja, the governor now had a moral baggage and ought to devote more time in clearing his name rather than “cling on to power”.
The groups insisted that rather than drive round the streets of Umuahia and Aba in celebration of his victory at the appellate court, the embattled governor should do an introspection in view of the fact that the court could not clear him of wrong doings in the discrepancies allegedly discovered in his tax documents but rather relied on technicalities.
The groups in a joint statement signed by the SEDC Coordinator, Dr Maduka Okebanama, and Secretary, Barr. Eunice Oke, as well as the APF President, Hon. Ndu Ahaiwe, and Secretary, Okey Adibe, and made available to newsmen in Enugu, maintained that if the govrnor still had some honour in him, he should throw in the towel at this point to avoid ” what could be a monumental disgrace at the Supreme Court”.
While alleging some financial inducements of the justices at the appellate court which led to the judgement delivered last Thursday, SEDC and APF however expressed optimism that substantial justice would be delivered by the apex court over technicalities, insisting: “There must be an end to deceit of the people of Abia state by a cabal that had held them down for years.
“We don’t want to dwell so much on the whooping sum that was used to procure the judgment because they can not stand truth upside down forever. Even the learned justices knew that the case is beyond redemption and therefore refused to look at the nitty gritty of the matter at hand. They knew that the apex court would eventually uphold Justice Abang’s judgement.
“This is the time for Okezie Ikpeazu to stop playing to the gallery by driving round the state and whipping unfounded sentiments. He must embrace reality by relinquishing the seat to the rightful owner; that way he will not only be free from the stranglehold of the former governor and his family members but also would have satisfied his conscience that he has done the right thing.”