A member of the Board of Trustees of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has described the attempt by some politicians acting in cohort with some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agents and some judicial officers to remove the Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu using a high court as treasonable.
Iwuanyanwu, who called for the National Judicial Council (NJC) to probe the ruling of Justice Okon Abang of High Court Abuja, also said that those involved in the plot should be tried for treason.
The Imo State born former Presidential aspirant and respected Igbo leader spoke during a visit to Governor Ikpeazu at the Government House Umuahia on Tuesday.
His words: "I have come as a leader of Ndi Igbo to say congratulations. I want to talk about the experience we are having currently. We're shocked to hear that somebody, a Judge ruled in Abuja that you should be removed from office.
"In some country this is treason, and those involved should be tried for treason. This is a matter that should go to appeal court, from appeal court to Supreme Court. But INEC hastily obeyed such an order that could potentially throw Abia State into bloodletting. No wonder people are saying INEC is corrupt. The head of State (President Mohammdu Buhari) should look into this matter.
"The Chief Justice of Nigeria should call his people to order. This is corruption and something should be done about it. This Judge would have put this state (Abia) into anarchy.
"The laws of our country are clear; it is only the Supreme Court in Nigeria that can take a final decision in such issues. When a court of first instance take decision beyond its jurisdiction we know something is wrong and we are all watching to know what this Federal government will do about this type of Judgment, this type of Judge.
"I can’t believe that this Judge does not know that he has overstepped his bounds. I don’t believe anybody who is a Judge doesn’t know that he acted as if he is the Supreme Court. And of course the Supreme court has a number of Judges that sit to decide a case, it is not only one Judge that takes such decision. They vote before they reach a decision.
"I am surprised that only one man said the election of the governor is fouled, cancelled it, ordered INEC to swear in another and even prevented the other man from exercising his right of appeal. Even at tribunals it cannot be taken this way, yet this is a high court Judge acting alone here. What type of inducement was he given to declare such Judgment?
"But I thank God that the country have come to realize this. I think even those that are not members of PDP are quite worried. People have come out to fault this kind of judgement, even those that are not in PDP are showing their disapproval.
"We are very disappointed; people have been accusing INEC of corruption. I can’t understand how INEC said they did what they have done because they are following a court order. I am surprised. This is a big embarrassment to the country. Ordinary High cannot give final decision on the issue. INEC has a legal department. Their legal department should have advised the INEC chairman on what the laws says."
Responding, Governor Ikpeazu who commended Chief Iwuanyanwu for his role in ensuring Igbo unity, said that his administration in Abia is serious about opening up Aba, which he described as the commercial Centre of Eastern Nigeria, and SME center for Nigeria.
He also said that his administration will give Ndigbo access to the high sea to improve import-export, trade and commerce in the region.
Ikpeazu said that his government is working with private firms to open the Azumiri Blue River in Ukwa West areas of the state, which will give Abia and Ndigbo direct access the Atlantic Ocean.
"My administration is working hard to provide an access to the sea for Ndigbo at Obuaku in Ukwa West LGA through a private investor"
"Aba is the commercial capital of Eastern Nigeria and the SME capital of Nigeria. We are doing everything within our power to open Aba for business. Despite the distractions occasioned by the political situation in the state in the last one year, we have embarked on the construction of 65 roads across the state and commissioned 25, majority of these roads are in Aba.
"Igbos contribute greatly to the socio-economic development of the country more than any other tribe in the country. If Igbos look inwards and come home and invest, they can solve the unemployment problem facing the zone."
He called on Chief Iwuanyanwu to use his wide contacts to promote investment at home for all Igbo as a better and easier route to solving the industrialization need of the people.