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» » ABIA PDP GOES TO COURT TO NULLIFY UCHE OGAH'S CERTIFICATE OF RETURN
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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has filed a suit at the Federal High Court Abuja, against Uche Ogah and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seeking the nullification of the certificate of return issued to Ogah by INEC on the grounds of false statement, stressing that the election that produced the governor of Abia State in the 2015 election was the April 25 election and not the April 11 election which INEC declared inconclusive.


PDP, which said that the certificate of return issued to Ogah is null and void and of no effect, is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining Ogah and his agents from parading the invalid certificate of return issued to him by INEC and from being sworn in on the basis of the invalid certificate of return in respect of the inconclusive election of April 11th, 2015.


The party further argued that Governor Ikpeazu contested and won the Abia State governorship election held on April 11 and April 25 2015 as the candidate of the PDP, and was sworn in as the elected Governor of Abia State on May 29th 2015.


In the originating summons filed by Dr. Paul Ananaba SAN, counsel to the PDP, the party among other issues for determination, is asking the court to answer the following questions:



"Whether the information on the certificate of rerun dated 28th day of June , 2016 and issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah on the 30th day of June, 2016 stating that Dr.Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been elected to the office of Governor of Abia State at the election held on the 11th day of April 2015 is false since INEC declared the governorship election of that date inconclusive, that is, no conclusive governorship election was held in Abia State on the 11th day of April, 2015 and no candidate of PDP or of any other political party at the said election including Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah was ever returned as elected at the said election declared as inconclusive by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).


"Whether the certificate of return dated 28th/6/2016 issued by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah was not invalidated by reason of the fact that neither Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah or any candidate of any political party was declared and returned as elected into the office of the Governor of Abia State by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the governorship election held on the 11th day of April, 2015 declared inconclusive by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).


"Whether there was any conclusive governorship election in Abia State held by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the 11th day of April, 2015 and any return of any candidate including Dr Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah into the office of the Governor of Abia State to warrant the issuance of the questioned certificate of return dated to 28/6/2016 to Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah of the PDP as having been duly elected to the office of the Governor of Abia State at the Gubernatorial election held on the 11th day of April, 2015.


"Whether the certificate of return dated 27/6/2016 issued by INEC to Ogah of PDP as having been elected into office of the governor of Abia State at the governorship election held on the 11th day of April, 2015 is not liable to be nullified as invalid, null and void in that no conclusive governorship election was concluded by INEC in Abia State on April 11th, 2015.


"Whether the election into the office of the governor of Abia State held on the 11th day of April, 2015 was declared inconclusive and whether a certificate of return can be validly issued to Uche Ogah by INEC based on the inconclusive governorship election conducted by INEC on the 11th day of April, 2015."


The party also argued: "That there was no conclusive governorship election held by INEC on the 11th day of April, 2015 and return of any candidate as elected to the office of Governor of Abia State to warrant the issuance of the certificate of return dated 28/6/2016 by INEC to Uche Ogah as having been elected to the office of the Governor of Abia State at the election held on 11th day of April, 2015."


PDP also wants the court to determine: "whether the invalid certificate of return issued to Ogah by INEC can be relied upon by the Chief Judge of Abia State, the President of Customary Court of Appeal Abia State or any judicial officer in Nigeria to swear in Ogah as governor of Abia State."


The party further seeks a declaration, "that the certificate of return dated 28th day of June, 2026 issued by INEC to Ogah as having been elected to the office of the Governor of Abia State at the governorship election held on the 11th day of April, 2015 is null and void and of no effect whatsoever by reason of false statement or information contained therein of the election of uche Ogah to the office of the governor of Abia State at the governorship election held on the 11th day of April, 2015 when no candidate emerged as elected."


It will be recalled that the Abia State chapter of the PDP had called for investigation and probe of the certificate of return issued to Ogah by INEC, describing it as invalid and erroneously issued.


The State Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Don Ubani, who addressed the press in Umuahia said: "The Party, hereby, recollects that the Governorship election of 2015 in Abia State came in two phases, that of April 11 which was declared inconclusive by the Electoral body and that of April 25 which conclusively declared and confirmed Okezie Ikpeazu as the Governor-elect of Abia State;


"That Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s Certificate of return is a product of the elections of April 11 and April 25of 2015, as properly reflected on the Certificate of return.


"The Party vehemently rejects the Certificate of return erroneously issued to Mr. Ogah for, among many other reasons, the enormous fact that the Certificate of return failed to reflect the fact that the Governorship election took place on two different days."

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