Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has said that only the Supreme court can annul his election because he was duly elected by the electorate as governor of the state.
Ikpeazu who was recently sacked by the Appeal Court sitting in Owerri expressed his dissatisfaction with the judgement in a letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Speaking through his lawyer Wole Olanipekun who said “Our client was elected by the electorate as the governor of Abia State in the governorship election held on 11th and 25th April, 2015.
“Upon his return as the governor by INEC, Mr. Alex Otti and his political party, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) challenged his return at the governorship election tribunal sitting at Umuahia, and which tribunal dismissed their petition on 3rd November, 2015.
“Being dissatisfied with the judgment of the tribunal, the petitioners appealed to the court of appeal, and by the judgement of the court of appeal delivered on the 31st December, 2015, the court of appeal allowed the appeal and declared Alex Otti as governor of Abia State.
“Our client is naturally dissatisfied with the judgment of the court of appeal and therefore has instructed us to appeal against same to the Supreme Court. He has an unimpaired and unfettered constitutional right to appeal against the judgment of the court of appeal to the Supreme Court, under and by virtue of section 233(2)(e)(iv) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“Under section 143(2) of the electoral act, 2010 (as amended), our client has the statutory right to remain in office pending the expiration of the period within which an appeal shall be filed, assuming without conceding that he does not even want to lodge an appeal against the decision of the court of appeal.
“Upon filing his notice of appeal, our client is also constitutionally entitled to remain in office until the Supreme Court decides and pronounces on his appeal.
“Arising from the foregoing, and bearing in mind the fact that INEC itself is a party to the processing as, and would also be a party to the appeal Whigs would be definitely be filed on behalf of our client immediately on receipt of the judgment of the court of appeal, may we urge on INEC to resist any invitation by anybody or from any quarter to do anything that would work contrary to the clear and express provisions of both the constitution and electoral act in respect of the rest of the appeal particularly, the position of the governor of Abia State, which our client occupies.”