A Federal High Court sitting in Owerri on Monday fixed July 8 for judgment in a suit filed by Chief Friday Nwosu, seeking the removal of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu as Abia governor.
Justice A. I Alagoa fixed the date after oral submissions and written addresses by counsel.
Chief Friday Nwosu, a governorship aspirant under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the December 2014 PDP governorship primary in Abia, had approached the court seeking the removal of Ikpeazu as governor.
Nwosu claimed, among others, that Ikpeazu submitted false tax receipts and other documents to his party.
Mr Francis Unyimadu, counsel to Nwosu, told the court that Ikpeazu was not qualified to represent PDP during the April 2015 governorship election in Abia.
Unyimadu, who claimed that his client’s position was contained in written addresses already submitted to the court, stated that Ikpeazu submitted false tax receipts and other fraudulent documents.
Responding to the argument raised by counsel to Dr Uche Ogah, whom INEC had issued Certificate of Return, Unyimadu maintained that Ogah rejected the outcome of the PDP gubernatorial primary.
He said that on that basis, Ogah cannot turn round to enjoy the result of the exercise he had rejected.
Unyimadu urged the court to hold that his client was the genuine governorship candidate of the PDP.
He also urged the court to not only sustain the suit, but make relevant consequential orders for INEC to recognise Nwosu as well as swear him in as Abia governor.
Chief Paul Ananaba (SAN), counsel to PDP urged the court to dismiss the application on the grounds that the originating summons by the plaintiff was dead on arrival.
Ananaba noted that the issuing authority of the tax receipts did not raise any matter on the documents.
“The issuing authority had on oath told the court that the document to Ikpeazu came from them (FIRS).’’
He added that the plaintiff also failed to join the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue.
Ananaba submitted that Ikpeazu did not show any guilty mind while handing over the documents, because he submitted what was issued to him to the party.
Messrs J.T.U. Nnodum (SAN) and Theo Nkire, who represented INEC and Ikpeazu respectively, also urged the court to dismiss the suit for lacking in merit.
Nkire told the court that PDP has guideline for guber primary and as such if Nwosu had any issue concerning such, he ought to have exhausted the internal options before approaching the court.
Though counsel to Ogah, Chief Jude Nnadi (SAN) shared the position of other defence counsel on the dismissal of the suit, Nnadi told the court not to make any order to make Nwosu governor.
He maintained that Nwosu came a distant fourth during the PDP guber primary, while his client Ogah took the second position with 103 votes.
Nnadi argued that it was not right that because agent to his client failed to sign the result of the primary that his client would be denied the accruing benefits of whatever came out of the exercise.
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