Some South East elders under the umbrella of Ndigbo Bu-Otu Union,NBU, have called on the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, to instruct the Chief Judge of Abia state to immediately install Dr. Uche Ogah as the new governor of the state.
The Union, after an emergency meeting of its leaders in Aba yesterday, noted that having withdrawn the Certificate of Return as the winner of the governorship election from Okozie Ipeazu, it becomes a major constitutional crisis for him to continue to occupy the office of the state governor.
The National President of Ndigbo Bu-Otu, Igwekala Ugomaduefule, in a statement pointed out that this was the first time in the political history of Nigeria that anyone would be occupying an elective office without a Certificate of Return from the electoral body.
The group, while noting that Governor Ikpeazu has the right to appeal the judgement of the High Court, pressed that he should first vacate office while awaiting the outcome of the appeal.
They cited Section 71 of the Electoral Act that
“The Commission, INEC, is to issue a Certificate of Return within 7 days to a candidate who won an election as a proof of his/her win.
”But, in a case where a Court declares another candidate the successful candidate in an election, the Certificate of Return should be issued to the successful candidate within 48 hours.”
They added in the statement that, “The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as the Chief law officer of the Federation must rise to the occasion and forestall political crisis in Abia state by directing the State Chief Judge to immediately swear-in Dr. Uche Ogah, who in the eye of the law is today, the only legitimate governor of Abia state.
“We concede that the outgoing Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has the right to appeal the judgment that removed him from office but since the instrument that made him the governor has been withdrawn by INEC, he should do the honourable thing by handing over to the new legitimate governor of Abia State, Dr. Uche Ogah.”