By Ihechinyere Chigemeri-Uwom & Wandoo Sombo
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia says Friday’s Supreme Court judgment has provided him with ample opportunity to concentrate more to boost the socio-economic development of the state.
Ikpeazu said this when he reacted to the Supreme Court verdict in an appeal filed by Mr Friday Nwosu, a PDP chieftain, in Umuahia.
He said: “Abia state is work in progress every minute of our time. We have to give account of it as we serve.
“I want our people to be happy and take solace in the fact that he who God calls, he equips.
“I give God the glory, who started the good work in us and has continued to be with us .
“I have enough reason to tell anybody who cares to know that this mandate is divine.
“I think I have broken all known record about those who stayed the longest in litigation. This is our third year, since 2015 I have known no respite.
“I thank God today that to His glory we have done enough for our state to be able to present ourselves and say judge us as if nothing happened,” he said.
Ikpeazu said that in spite of all odds, his administration had remained focused and kept to its promises.
The governor added that the state government would continue to evolve developmental programmes to move Abia forward.
He said that the litigation experiences had made him more strong, resilient and determined to serve Abia people.
The apex court on Friday dismissed the suit filed by Nwosu which sought the removal of Ikpeazu from office over false information and fake tax documents.
Nwosu had urged the court to nullify the election of Ikpeazu and declare him (Nwosu) the governor of Abia.
But Justice Amina Adamu-Augie, in the lead judgment, described the appeal as “frivolous and lacking in merit’’.
The Justice awarded fine of N4 million against the appellant (Nwosu) to be paid N1 million each to four respondents to the appeal.
The respondents in the suit are Mr Samson Ogah, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (PDP), Ikpeazu and the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC).
The lead judgment was read on behalf of Justice Augie by Justice Sidi Bage.
Nwosu had, in his appeal, challenged the judgment of the Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri which declined jurisdiction in the case.
The appellate court panel of five Justices presided over by Justice Jimi Bada had ruled that it lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine the appeal.
Specifically, the court held that Nwosu’s appeal was similar to the suit also filed against Ikpeazu by Uche Ogah which the apex court had decided on May 12, 2017.
Nwosu, who contested the Dec. 8, 2014 PDP governorship primaries had accused Ikpeazu of submitting false information and fake tax documents to INEC.
He had instituted the suit at the Federal High Court, Owerri, presided over by Justice A.L. Lewis.
Justice Lewis had on July 8, 2016, dismissed the suit for lacking in merit.
Dissatisfied with the verdict, he proceeded to the Court of Appeal and finally, the Supreme