Many of us that are not lawyers but have been used to questions that stem from equity, natural justice and morality had had our conviction that Uche Ogah’s
conspiracy against Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Ph.D, capitalizing on the professional indiscipline and moral debasement and gullibility of one Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, was like one hitting one’s head against a brick wall.
In the first instance, except for the unprecedented level of corruption that Okon Abang symbolizes, no sound-minded judicial officer can ever contemplate sacking a duly elected governor of a state merely on the unsubstantiated allegation of false information on his tax papers.
This is more so when it was beyond every reasonable doubt that the governor in question had been a public servant in the payroll of the state just before resigning to contest the governorship election of December 8, 2014.
The simple implication of the truth above is that Governor Ikpeazu had had his taxes deducted from his earnings by government even without his consent under the common system of Pay As You Earn, PAYE.
On the other hand, which does not apply to Governor Ikpeazu, even if the Governor had not been a public servant, no sane judge should ever gamble with the tenure of an elected governor, relying on an originating summons which does not allow the defendant, in this case Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, a legal window of bringing witnesses to help him defend the preposterous allegations against him.
A matter as grave as irresponsible conspiracy to remove a governor, should have been initiated through a writ of summons. But because Okon Abang had collected billions of naira from Uche Ogah and those he had agreed to contract the fortunes of Abia State to, he became blindfolded by stupidity of incomparable order.
It should not be forgotten that the Supreme Court had earlier upheld the election of Governor Ikpeazu in his case originating from Alex Otti’s quest to turn the collective will of Abia electorate.
We must applaud the wisdom of Hon Justice Ambrose Alagoa of the Federal High Court, Owerri Division, who sharply and unequivocally contradicted the spurious judgment of Okon Abang.
The same commendation goes to Justice Ahuchaogu of Osisioma High Court, whose judicial intervention saved Abia State from sliding into bloody anarchy.
As we all know, Prof Ben Nwabueze is one of Nigeria’s most erudite authorities in law. In his write-up titled Violations And Abuses Of Judicial Due Processes In The Unseemly Governorship Tussle In God’s Own State of Abia State, Prof Ben Nwabueze descended heavily on Okon Abang. He only stopped short of dismissing him as putridly corrupt and professionally incompetent.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party in Abia State salutes the professional dexterity and courage of the doyen of Nigerian law, Prof Ben Nwabueze, for speaking the naked truth and speaking at the appropriate time.
The Party is also grateful to the Justices of the Appeal Court that allowed justice to prevail by turning down the reckless show of judicial irresponsibility that was inherent in the Okon Abang’s show of shame.
More importantly, PDP thanks the Judiciary for saving Abia State from a situation, the highlight of which would have been a total breakdown of law and order in the state, that would have amounted to an unmitigated disaster with a casualty toll too high to be counted and quantified, especially in Aba zone, the home of the Ukwa/Ngwa people. No doubt, the scenario could have been more than twenty times cataclysmic than what happened in the days of Osisikankwu.
PDP in Abia State would not cease thanking God for using the Judiciary to restore the confidence of the people, the absence of which unquenchably could have left the people with no other option than resorting to self help and every other act of tremendous barbarism and incivility.
Don Ubani, KSC, JP
Okwubunka of Asa
PDP, Abia State