Absence of Abia Chief Judge Stalls Uche Ogah’s Inauguration as Governor
The absence of the Abia Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Uzoukwu, has stalled the expected inauguration of Samson Ogah as the new governor of the state.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier on Thursday, issued Ogah a Certificate of Return, thus withdrawing the one that earlier by Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu and paved the way for the swearing of Mr. Ogah.
INEC said its action was in compliance with an Abuja Federal High Court judgment ordering Mr. Ikpeazu to immediately vacate office.
In his ruling, Justice Okon Abang had on Monday made a consequential order ordering Mr. Ikpeazu to vacate office as Abia Governor based on the revelations that he did not pay his tax for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, as at when due when he was a public officer.
However, the inauguration could not take place because it was learnt that the state chief judge, who was supposed to have performed the function, was nowhere to be found.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ikpeazu has obtained an ex parte injunction issued by Justice Chibuzor Ahuchaogu of the state High Court, Osisioma, restraining the chief judge from swearing in Mr. Ogah.
Mr. Ikpeazu had in a statement he signed insisted that he remained the governor of the state, appealing to the people of the state to remain calm.
Based on this, Mr. Ikpeazu declared Friday and Monday next week as public holidays in honour of the former Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, a prominent Abia son, who died in Abuja on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr. Ogah, who arrived at Umuahia from Abuja at about 5.45 p.m, headed straight to the office of the State Director of the State Security Service (SSS) in Umuahia, where he held a closed-door marathon meeting with the State Director, Korede Kamoju.
The meeting lasted till about 8.10 p.m.
Mr. Ogah left the SSS in a long motorcade but could not be reached by the journalists, who had waited throughout the period of the meeting for his comments on the unfolding political development in the state.