• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Court grants Ikpeazu reprieve over Abia governorship crisis


Reprieve has come the way of Okezie Ikpeazu, embattled governor of Abia state, as Justice Okon Abang of an Abuja Federal High Court, has rescinded on its earlier order to expel the governor from the seat of power, while Uche Ogah also of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was expected to be sworn in as the governor of the state.

Delivering his ruling on the application for stay of execution of his earlier order, the court however held that Ikpeazu had no business heading to the Appeal Court against a final decision yet to be given by the court, he would have been right to head to the Appeal Court with an appeal against an interlocutory decision not a High court’s final decision.

According to Justice Abang, Order 4 Rule (11) cited by Ikpeazu’s counsel, Wole Olanikpekun SAN only regulates interlocutory applications made but not against an appeal for a final decision, averring that, the appellant (Ikpeazu) only rushed in a stay to the Appeal Court to make a motion for stay when the High Court had not deposed off the matter.

In an appeal against the final decision, there is no proceeding and court of appeal cannot de-cease off.

He also said the appellant should have approached the trial court before heading to the Appeal Court.

He said Ikpeazu cannot head to the Appeal Court without allowing the High Court make a decision on the stay of proceedings.

However with the non-opposition to the application for stay of execution, by Ogah’s counsel, Alex Izinyon SAN, the court opined that, the stance has further made the decision to be taken on the matter as a “piece meal”, as such, the court held that it was going to stay all proceedings on the matter pending the Appeal Court decision.

Similarly a Federal High Court siting in Owerri, has also dismissed another suit instituted against Ikpeazu by Friday Nwosu, another PDP gubernatorial aspirant who is also alleging forgery of tax documents against the embattled governor.

However, with the recent decision by Justice Abang, the round of battle for the Abia state governorship sit has now been moved to the Abuja division of the court of appeal, where Ikpeazu is expected to battle for the soul of the governorship seat against his contenders, Ogah and Nwosu.