Lagos lawyer wants Ogah sworn in as Abia governor


ln a bid to resolve the political impasse in Abia, a Lagos lawyer, Mr Onyekachi Ubani, has called on the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, to set in motion the swearing-in of Mr Uche Ogah as governor.

Ubani, a former Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch, made the call while briefing newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos.

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja had on June 27 sacked the state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, for failing to pay his taxes as required by law.

In his judgment, Abang ordered the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately issue a certificate of return to Ogah as Governor-elect, a directive which INEC had complied with.

Ubani noted that the suit was instituted by Ogah in 2014 after the state’s Peoples Democratic Party gubernatorial primaries to challenge Ikpeazu’s eligibility.

According to him, election petitions tribunal’s decisions are different from pre-election matters and a party does not have to wait until 21 days to file an appeal.

He said:”The order of the court was that INEC should immediately issue a certificate of return to Ogah and that he should be sworn-in by the Chief Judge of Abia State.

“So, the order of the court must be obeyed until it is upheld or reversed by a superior court. Such an order cannot be arrested by a court of coordinate jurisdiction.

“The law today is that Ogah has been issued with the certificate of return.

“I am, therefore, calling on the AGF and the I-G to ensure that Ogah is sworn-in since there is no stay of execution from a superior court or any other order contrary to that effect.”

Ubani said Nigerians must appreciate INEC for immediately obeying the judgment after the commission was served with an enrolled order from the court.

“INEC was right for complying with the judgment of the court. Let us begin to appreciate government agencies when they comply with orders of court.

“That is the way we can build a country we are proud of,” he added.