(Fred Itua, ABUJA)
Abia State Governor-elect, Dr Uche Ogah, has said that public holidays would not stop his inauguration as governor of the state, describing the stay of execution order secured by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as a black market injunction.
Ogah, who spoke in Abuja through his Special Adviser on Public Communication, Monday Onyekachi, maintained that the Abuja Federal High Court acted within its powers by issuing him a certificate of return to avoid an unpalatable leadership vacuum in the state.
This is just as he called on all Abia people and well meaning indigenes of the state to join him in rebuilding the state. He argued that there is a difference between a pre-election matter and post-election trial of electoral matters by tribunals. “In a pre-election matter, the enforceability of a court judgment is immediate. In this case, Dr Ikpeazu was never adjudged to have been qualified to contest the election in the first place, while in a post-election matter, the mandate enjoyed by an incumbent subsists until the tribunal or appellate courts rule otherwise,” he said.
According to him, “The interim order was premised on section 143 of the Electoral Act which is only applicable to judgments obtained in Election Tribunals, but not in pre-election matters. It is a laughable ruling not worth the paper it was written.”
He further explained that the High Court in Abia is a court of coordinate jurisdiction with a Federal High Court and as such, any order given by such court to contradict an earlier order of the same court is ipso facto null and void, adding it is only a higher court that has the legal capacity to reverse the earlier order or judgment.”