Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has urged people of the state to remain calm and not panic over the Monday’s judgment by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, which sacked him from office.
Justice Okon Abang, who delivered ruling in a case of alleged falsification of tax receipts brought against the governor by his rival in the December 2014 governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Uche Ogah, found Ikpeazu guilty and immediately ordered him to vacate his office.
Justice Abang also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to immediately issue a certificate of return to Ogah.
Reacting to the judgment, Governor Ikpeazu, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos, declared his faith in the judiciary and rule of law.
He added that he will appeal the ruling as he has instructed his lawyers to approach the court of appeal over the said judgment.
The statement explained that as an appointee of the Abia State Government from 2011 to 2014, when he served as the General Manager, Abia State Passengers Integrated Manifest and Safety Scheme (ASPIMSS), and first Deputy General Manager, Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA) Aba and Environs respectively, before his resignation in October 2014 to contest the governorship election in the state, Mr. Ikpeazu’s taxes were deducted at source within that period.
It noted that when he had need of his tax clearance in 2014, he applied to the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue, and was duly issued with his tax receipts for the period in question.
Mr. Ikpeazu, therefore, insisted that he remains Governor of Abia State according to law and will await the final determination of the matter by the appellate courts.