Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
One of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants in the 2015 governorship primary election in Abia State, Mr. Friday Nwosu, has dismissed the legal challenge initiated by Dr. Uche Ogah seeking to replace the state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, saying the duo were not qualified to be governor.
Nwosu said contrary to claims by Ogah that he is the rightful replacement of Ikpeazu, he is actually the person that came second in the December 18, 2014 PDP governorship primary.
Nwosu, also claimed that he was the first to blow the whistle over the Abia governor’s alleged tax evasion, adding that while Ikpeazu contested with questionable tax papers, Ogah, participated in the primary election but withdrew midway, alleging irregularities, a development, he said, made him as the only qualified candidate the party and so should be declared winner.
He said he had since instituted legal suits, one of which is seeking the disqualification of Ikpeazu and the other asking that Ogah, who was ordered by the Federal High Court in Abuja to be given Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) be either made governor or recognised as candidate of the party given that he withdrew from the contest, alleging irregularities.
But he alleged that some powerful forces from the state who knew the strength and merit of his case in courts were working to frustrate him by ensuring his cases were not heard.
Addressing journalists in Abuja at the weekend, the legal practitioner frowned at what he called “expeditious treatment” of Ogah’s case against Ikpeazu, leaving his case which he said was instituted before that of Ogah.
He called on the President of the Appeal Court to immediately constitute an appeal panel to hear his appeal case.
Nwosu said: “What happened was that on December 8, 2014, at Umuahia Central Stadium in Abia State, the PDP conducted its governorship primary election, and a lot of people took different views of that election.
“The governorship election was zoned to Abia South senatorial zone in compliance with what Abia people called Abia Chatter of Equity, where political positions in the state are zoned to the comprising areas.
“When the election came up, seven aspirants came out from Abia South senatorial zone including my humble self. One person, in defiance of the party’s zoning policy, Dr. Uche Chukwu Ogah, who aspired from Abia North senatorial zone contested.
“When the election was conducted, Ogah had a very different view from the view of the party. I won’t be too free to speak because of the pendency of this matter in court.
“But it is enough for me to say that Ogah wrote a petition to the party complaining about a lot of things among which were that PDP delegates who were supposed to vote in that election were locked up somewhere by the then governor of the state, Chief Theodore Orji, now a senator.
He said the real PDP delegates were locked up somewhere, detained somewhere while the party imported several persons from neighbouring states who were not even PDP people into the Umuahia Central Stadium who voted without accreditation.
“I also wrote a letter to INEC to that effect that they have obligation to look at the documents submitted to them and crosscheck it with the position of the law. That now that my candidate has submitted documents that cannot pass the scrutiny of the law, that they should advise my party, the PDP to withdraw him and bring a qualified person, that was my letter to INEC.”
He said he was worried that no panel had been set up to superintendent over his case.
‘”Well, my worry now is that some people, powerful people somewhere are sitting on my appeal. The appeal that was contemptuous with the appeal of Ogah has not been listed for hearing, no panel has been set up to hear that appeal while a panel was set up promptly to hear Ogah’s appeal,’’ he said.