The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued a Certificate of Return to Uche Ogah, the 1st runner up to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial primaries in Abia state, following the order by Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Abang had ordered INEC to immediately issue a Certificate of Return to the plaintiff, Ogah in a tax evasion case filed against Ikpeazu.
The court held that Ikpeazu submitted false tax information to the party in the run up to the primaries, hence was not qualified to run for the 2015 governorship election.
The PDP on Tuesday appealed the ruling by the court.
According to Vanguard, the INEC Commissioner in charge of South-East Amb. Lawrence Nwuruku said that he is only obeying the court order, adding that he could go to jail for flouting a valid court order.
“The situation is that we are simply obeying the court order. The court said with immediate effect without wasting of time, we should issue him Certificate of Return and that is what we have done – to obey the court order.
If the court tomorrow issues another order, we would obey the same. By the grace of God, I am the INEC Commissioner in charge of South East. I’ll do the same thing if the court orders us to do so.
If court says we should issue the same certificate to another person. In this case, court ordered us to issue a Certificate of Return to the person who won the election and that is Uche Ogah. I was the person who gave the Certificate of Return to Gov. Ikpeazu as he was declared winner.
Now, the court has said otherwise. One thing we know is that we are not above the law and we cannot disobey the laws of the land.
If you were in the court that day, and I urge you the media, to go and study the court ruling very well, it was wonderful; it was direct,” he said.