The Abia State Government has reacted to the recent judgment by the Court of Appeal, which ordered the removal of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
The government, in an official statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Godwin Adindu, on Wednesday described the judgment as a travesty of justice.
It said that with the judgment, the five-man panel of judges of the court, led by Justice Oyebisi Omoleye, had not only trifled with the lives and collective destiny of the six million people of Abia State, but put the entire state at the risk of anarchy.
Warning all those involved in what it described as a grand conspiracy to drag Abia State into anarchy and bloodshed to steer clear of the state, the government said, “Abia State is not for sale and nobody should trifle with the destiny of the people.”
The statement noted that it took the timely intervention of Ikpeazu to restore peace and calm to the state, following massive protests, led by a former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, and Chief Gershion Amuta against the decision of the appellate court.
It raised some fundamental questions about the ruling and argued that if allowed to stand, it would deny a large number of voters the right to choose their own representatives.
“How could they (the judges) have ordered INEC to swear in Mr. Alex Otti immediately after their pronouncement when they knew that there is still a window of 14 days within which the governor has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court?” The statement queried.
The government expressed confidence in the ability of the Supreme Court to correct the error made by the Court of Appeal and to uphold Ikpeazu’s victory at the poll, adding that the latter’s mandate was sacred and could not be replaced with money.
It criticised the composition of the panel of judges that gave the judgment, while noting that the state chapter of the PDP had earlier warned that all the five members came from the same Lagos division, contrary to the established tradition of having a mixture of judges from different divisions of the Court of Appeal.