Abia Guber Crisis: Ikpeazu, Ogah not qualified to contest —Nwosu *Asks to be declared governor
Posted by News Express | 28 August 2016 | 1,981 times
A legal practitioner and Abia State governorship aspirant in the December 18, 2014 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election, Mr. Friday Nwosu, has added a new dimension to the political crisis in the State, saying neither governor Okezie Ikpeazu nor Uche Ogah were qualified to be governor.
The frontline politician who claimed that he blew the whistle over the Abia governor's alleged tax evasion accused a former governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji and some powerful politicians" of frustrating his court case against the embattled governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
He also dismissed the legal contest of Uche Ogah seeking to replace Ikpeazu, saying he stood a better chance to be governor? because he went to court first before Ogah.
Nwosu's position was contained in one of his petitions to the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, which was distributed to journalists during a press briefing on Friday in Abuja.
The petitions were copied to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN).
According to him, several letters to the PCA for his case at the Owerri Division of the Appellate Court to be heard appeared not to be getting to the appropriate authorities.
The petition reads: "My Lord, the common defense of all the parties to the case of Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah is that he is in abuse of court process of the earlier suit of Sir Friday Nwosu, by instituting a fresh and different suit after his case has been served with my earlier suit with him as 4th defendant.
"Then, I believe that my appeal should be listed and heard as all the suits and now appeals have been heard, leaving my own which was earlier sent in time, despite my earlier application to my Noble Lord, the President
"Could my Lord, the President of the Court of Appeal graciously consider my plight, that is denial of fair hearing being perpetrated against me by some persons in this suit? In order to ensure that nobody hides this passionate application from from my Noble Lord, the President, may I humbly inform my Lord that I will publish this letter. My Lord, do not allow my opponents to render my appeal an academic exercise even when I filed on time and also applied to you on time."
While expressing worry that somebody or some people were preventing the Honourable President of the Court of Appeal from seeing his three applications, the lawyer informed journalists that he was asking the PCA to "set up a panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal to hear my appeal expeditiously as that of Uche Ogah has been heard."
He said, "My matter was instituted before Uche Ogah's matter, with some four weeks difference. My matter at Umuahia, even on transfer from Abuja to Umuahia was No. 64,2015 and his own was 94,2015, about 30 days gap. Yet, his own has been heard and determined though in ten days time. Mine was also heard and determined but his own appeal has been concluded and mine is being sat upon.
"Senator T. A. Orji has been saying in public places that money speaks for him. I know I have complained this to the authorities previously and I know that he is still making such threat, that he is sitting on my appeal. So I do not know through whom he is able to do all these wonders.
"He is the one who has threatened that he would sit on my appeal, until that of Uche Ogah goes to Supreme Court and finishes so that my own will become an academic exercise. That is why I am saying some powerful forces are sitting over my case here?."
According to him, while Ikpeazu contested with suspicious tax papers, Ogah, who had participated in the primary election, withdrew midway, alleging irregularities.
Nwosu said based on this development, he remained the only qualified candidate of PDP and so, should be declared winner.
He said he had since instituted some suits, one of which was seeking the disqualification of Ikpeazu.
The other was that he should be either made governor or recognised as candidate of the party given that Ogah withdrew from the primary because of alleged irregularities.
He alleged that some powerful forces from the state who knew the strength and merit of his case in court were working to frustrate him by ensuring his cases were not treated.
Nwosu said, "What happened was that on December 8, 2014, at Umuahia Central Stadium in Abia State, the PDP conducted its governorship primary election. And a lot of people took different views of that election.
"The governorship election was zoned to Abia South Senatorial Zone in compliance with what Abia people called Abia Charter of Equity, where political positions in the state are zoned to the comprising areas.
"When the election came up, seven aspirants came out from Abia South Senatorial Zone including my humble self. One person, in defiance of the party's zoning policy, Dr Uche Ogah, who aspired from Abia North Senatorial Zone contested.
"I came second. Why I said I came second was that the only other person who did that primary with me was Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu who came first.I do not believe that people who walked away and stated on paper why they walked away contested the primary.
"I sued Dr Uche Ogah because he stormed out of the primary election ground and led other persons and somewhere along the line, he and some others who went out with him were pursuing the cancelation of that primary election vigorously while I agreed that party primary may not be perfectbut provided they conform substantially with the law, then I as a lawyer, I had no objectionthan to agree with it and sign.
"So, when I saw that Dr. Uche Ogah had started prevaricating, making one statement now and making another, given time, I will give you an sms message he sent to me that time, saying 'give me your account details I would send money to you', he said he was supporting me while I was pursuing the disqualification of our candidate because he submitted some documents which I don't want to say here that are forged, but you journalist should look at them very well and then crosscheck wherever you see them.
"When I was pursuing this, Ogah gave me his words that he was supporting me, he sent me a text message to send my account details to him for him to send money to mebut not because I had money that time but because it was not necessary, so I didn't bother.
"So it was when I sued PDP, the INEC, Dr Ikpeazu and Dr Ogah and asked the court to disqualify Dr Ikpeazu and declare me the rightful candidate of PDP that Dr Ogah came into the post primary issue.
"But I asked the court to declare that PDP does not have the discretion, the absolute power to nominate a candidate who has committed some infractions of the law even upon complaints and a complainant in the party, that they don't have the discretion to refuse to look at the position of the law and what that part party member has done to be able to whether he has infringed the law or not. That was why I sued PDP, and for refusing to withdraw that candidate that has problem and put me that I didn't have problem and I believe that I don't have problem today.
"I sued INEC for the court to declare that they have obligations under the relevant sections of the Constitution, section 182 (1j) and the Electoral Act, particularly section 31 (5)&(6), that INEC has obligation to crosscheck certificates given to them by any candidate and if there's any infringement, if there's any falsification, that INEC has a duty under the law to advise the relevant political parties to replace the affected person.
Then I sued Ogah for a declaration that he and every other aspirants who walked away from the primary election and who challenged the validity of the primary election and who rejected the result or repudiated participation cannot benefit from the same primary election.
"And when Dr Uche Ogah appeared in court, under his oath and other processes in court, with his photographs, he represented himself as representing himself and expressed himself as representing himself and all those other PDP government aspirants, who rejected the validity of the primary and who repudiated or refused to sign the result of the primary election. That was what he expressed himself as representing in court. And this matter has been going on.
"I am not bothered about the substance of the suit because the suits are now in court at the various appellate levels-in court at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, Court of Appeal, Owerri Division that is pending and in court at the Supreme Court because some parties have also appealed the decision of the Court of Appeal here in Abuja.