Following the Abuja High Court judgment nullifying the election of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu as governor of Abia State, the embattled governor has insisted that he remains the governor of Abia state according to law and will await the final determination of the matter by the appellate courts.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court Abuja had, in his judgment delivered in the case filed by oil magnate, Mr. Uche Oga, ruled that Ikpeazu had submitted falsified tax papers and so was not qualified ab initio to be the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Enyinnaya Appolos, said that he would appeal the judgment and has in fact instructed his lawyers to file an appeal immediately.
Gov. Ikpeazu has reaffirmed that he has no problems with his tax clearance forms, saying he has been an honest public servant and has never defaulted in paying his taxes.
Gov. Ikpeazu noted that between 2011 and 2014 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)
According to him, before his resignation in October 2014 to contest the governorship election in the state, his tax payments were up to date as they were being deducted at source. He further explained 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.
In its reaction the ruling PDP said that it was unfazed by the court judgment as it has for now changed nothing since the ruling would be challenged accordingly.The governor still has The Appeal Court and Supreme Court if needed to wrestle back his mandate.