By Ndubuisi Orji
Abuja based legal practitioner, Ody Ajike has faulted the distortion of facts that led to the sack of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu as the governor of Abia State by the Federal High Court Abuja.
According to him, the state government is carrying on propaganda and peddling falsehood to the citizens in order to cause mayhem in the state.
In an interview with Daily Sun, Ajike, said the Abia government has not deemed it fit to tell the people that the reason the court sacked him was because he supplied false information to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was transmitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and for that reason, the court called Ikpeazu, an obvious perjurer.
What is the situation as Ikpeazu has extended the order barring any judge from swearing in Ogar until the determination of his appeal?
I know Dr. Uche Ogah is not desperate to be the governor of Abia State; if he were, he would have taken laws into his hands to take over the Abia Government House, because the injunction from a court in Osisioma is not worth the paper upon which it was printed. The court in Osisioma is a court of concurrent jurisdiction with Federal High court that had already declared him a candidate of the party for the Abia election.
Ikpeazu is accusing Ogah of desperation
It is the Abia State government that is desperate, that is, the de facto government of Ikpeazu, who has ceased to be the governor of Abia State. He is desperate in the sense that he had to declare a public holiday for a citizen of Abia State without a complimentary action of even setting up a burial committee for a man he declared two days public holiday for.
How could people play politics with other people’s misfortune? When the family members were mourning over the death of Chief Ojo Maduekwe, the Abia State government chose to play politics with his death. That is highest level of insensitivity and desperation. That shows how desperate they are to cling unto power, when he knows that morally and legally, he is not supposed to be the governor of the state.
Mores so, he is just buying time, that is why he has taken other desperate steps by approaching a court in Osisioma to procure an order to prevent Ogah from being sworn in as the governor, irrespective of the order of the court; the judgment was given by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The most amazing thing is that the Abia government under Ikpeazu has distorted facts and information they are giving to the people to the extent that people didn’t know that this was a pre election matter, which started in December 2014, and it has gone as high as the Supreme Court, and the apex court gave an order that the matter should be remitted back to the Federal High Court and considered on its merit and should also be given accelerated hearing. That is where we were.
We have competent judgment from Federal High Court, Abuja that sacked Ikpeazu for supplying false information to the party and INEC. The Ikpeazu camp is not addressing the issues that gave rise to this judgment. They are busy dishing out lies and propaganda to the people. The question people should be asking Ikpeazu is, did he or did he not submit false information to the party, which was transmitted to INEC and the answer you get, is ‘yes’. So, he has no moral right to remain as governor because the court has declared him unfit.
The court calls him an obvious perjurer.
I suggest that he did the wise thing by vacating the seat for Ogah.
The crowd that came to welcome Ogah was based on his popularity, or it was rented?
The mammoth crowd that trooped out to welcome Ogah was a proof that Ikpeazu was never popular or his popularity, if he had, has waned and diminished. He was foisted on the people of Abia by the so called power centres in the state who have continued to benefit from the common heritage of Abia people which they share among themselves. That is why in the last nine years, there is no meaningful development you can point at in the state. Umuahia still remains a primitive town with primitive infrastructure; Aba is dilapidated, with also primitive infrastructure that are yet to be rehabilitated, because the resources coming to the state have been shared among the few political elite.
The common people came out to usher Ogah into the state, they were not the rented crowd that the governor and his cohorts bring forward to cause mayhem and distraction on human activities in the state.
The common people you saw at the Abia gate, Sam Mbakwe Airport came on their own from different parts of the state. It was spontaneous, galvanised by the need to usher somebody that would give them and the state a fresh breath. They believe that their prayer has been answered.
Ogah’s mandate is divine, and those who stand or want to stand against the way of God always have themselves to blame.
Some Abia elders came out to disparage the judge and the judgment, was it the right thing for elders to do?
They are part of the problem. They have been in the payroll of the government and that is why the state is bereft of development. They see the emergence of Ogar as obstructing their vile grip on the state. Of course, they are not Abia elders. None of them ever complained against the evil administration of the former governor, T. A. Orji, because of the money shared to them every month from the common wealth of the people. So, there are no Abia elders, may be rented crowd, and you would be disappointed by the calibre of some of them. There is a link between our large intestine and our head; for some of them, that link is obvious, that is why they are being rented to come to Abuja street to protest. Some of them are political office holders, and one was at a time the number three citizen of the country. They have been blind folded and that is why they may want to cause mayhem. There are two commentaries running, one is a legal commentary while the other is political. In the political commentary, they have tried to twist facts to their favour, but for the legal commentary, the law is straight and the judgment sound.
Chief Mike Ozokhome also faulted the judgment?
Chief Mike Ozokhome’s is a senior lawyer and counsel to Ikpeazu. He is from Etsako Central in Edo State. I wonder why he is so passionate about Abia politics. When he begins to talk so dearly about politics in Abia State and, what he called the marginalisation of the Ngwa bloc, you would know where he is headed; that he is in support of the governor, and so would not see the law as it was.
The judgment is there and it is a public record, which anybody can access, and see the ground under which the court declared that Ikpeazu was neither qualified nor eligible to have contested the election as a candidate of the PDP. We stand on that judgment until it is vacated. That is the position of the law.