The Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that the certificate of return given to Dr Uche Ogah by the South East Commissioner of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Lawrence Nwuruku, is fake.
Speaking with newsmen in Umuahia while displaying the two certificates of return given to both Ogah and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, the publicity secretary of Abia PDP, Chief Don Ubani, said that the certificate in Ogah’s possession is a mark of desperation and illegality.
Ubani said the certificate of return given to Ikpeazu has two dates on which the governorship elections were held, which were 11th and 25th of April 2015, for both the main election and the supplementary, while Ogah’s has only the 11th April, 2015 date, being the one for the main election.
He said the difference in the dates resulted from the fact that on the day of the main election, no one emerged as the governor, which led to a supplementary election being held on the 25th, which produced Ikpeazu as the governor.
The former information commissioner of the state alleged that Ogah’s desperation to become governor through illegal means led to INEC making mistakes.
“They also went ahead to order his immediate swearing-in which has caused a lot of trouble in the state,” he said.
Ubani said that Ogah never campaigned or participated in any phase of the election proper.
“We as a party in the state hold strongly against the intention of INEC and Dr. Ogah to misinform the people about Ikpeazu, which is baseless,” he said.
Ubani added: “It is a known fact that Ikpeazu has been a civil servant as the General Manager of Abia State Passenger Integrated Manifest/Safety Scheme and the immediate past Deputy General Manager of Abia State Environmental Sanitation Authority in charge of Aba zone.”
“By virtue of being a civil servant, his tax was deducted at source. Therefore, those saying that he did not pay his tax were either being funny or they are being out of tune with the realities on ground concerning tax issues.
“This is a question of conspiracy, which can only do one thing, which is distraction, as INEC was just being mischievous by declaring election inconclusive for a supplementary election to be held on the 25th of April, which produced Ikpeazu as the governor”.
Ubani noted that the Federal High Court Owerri had vindicated the governor on the authenticity of his tax certificate as a public servant as well as declared him as the duly elected Governor of Abia State.
He insisted that alleged misinformation on the tax documents presented by the governor is baseless.
Ogah’s spokesman, Emma Iheanacho, however, described the allegation as baseless and senseless, adding: It is a cry of a people that have fallen and doing every thing possible to rubbish the good image of another person. How can any right thinking person say that the certificate issued by INEC on the instructions of a competent court in the land is fake?That tells you that they have lost it all. They can never bring down Ogah.”
Also reacting to the allegation, Ogah’s legal officer, Monday Onyekachi Ubani said: “It is laughable because INEC has disassociated itself from that fake news circulating in the social media as no hard core news media have carried the baseless rumor. INEC has threatened legal action against any media platform or individuals championing such malicious story without facts.
“The falsehood peddlers will have to produce that INEC Source to prove their case, stating that such baseless falsehood peddled on a social media by the camp of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu makes a mockery of the group and their candidate.Dr. Uche Ogah remains the authentic bearer of the Original INEC Certificate of Return as the one issued to Dr Okezie Ikpeazu is deemed cancelled in law.
“It is advised that it is high time Dr Okezie Ikpeazu vacate the governorship seat honorably and stop the childish hiring of all manner of charlatans who are financially induced to pay fake solidarity visits. Faceless groups with their solidarity visits based on financial inducement cannot change the eight lies of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu that are already before the court of law.”