By Ezugwu Obinna
Following the stalemate in the Abia State governorship election, a legal practitioner, Nnamdi U. Nwokocha has asked the Chairman of the Independent National electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega to declare the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Victor Okezie Ikpeazu winner of the election since, according to him; the results released show that the candidate won the election clearly.
In a petition titled “Unconstitutional and unlawful decision to stop declaration of the winner of the election into the office of governor of Abia State held on the 11-04-2015 by the Abia State collation/returning officer & the rec: request for declaration of the winner of the Abia State governorship election,” Nwokocha, who is the Chief Council of NunaLexis Solicitors LP insisted that results gotten from 17 local governments in the state showed that the PDP candidate won the election and wondered why the electoral body refused to announce it.
“The said elections held successfully throughout Abia State. At the end of the exercise, results were duly collated and announced at various Polling Units and Ward Collation Centers. Subsequently, the results of the elections were collated and announced in all the 17 Local Government Areas of Abia State. Every political party which participated in the said election and had agents representing them already have copies of the election results as collated in the INEC form EC.8C for each of the 17 LGAs of Abia State as do the Security agencies,” the petition read.
“Our client, Dr. Victor Okezie Ikpeazu of the PDP, having won the election into the office of Governor of Abia State in the election conducted by INEC on the 11th day of April 2015 as clearly shown in the INEC form EC.8D, serial number GE-01-AB, dated the 13th day of April 2015, should be declared winner of the election forthwith and his Certificate of Return issued to him. Nothing less will be acceptable.”
The lawyer further noted that the electoral body would be preparing ground for political crisis in the state if it failed to announce Ikpeazu winner of the governorship election and threatened that those responsible for the impending tragedy would be dragged to International Criminal Court (ICC).
“ INEC will not only be engendering a constitutional crisis of monumental proportions should the commission go ahead to brazenly rob Dr. Ikpeazu of his freely given mandate, the commission will be orchestrating a political crisis which may lead to a breakdown of law and order in Abia State.
“Should such totally avoidable crisis occur, possibly leading to the deaths of citizens of Abia State who are sure to resist this impunity, INEC and its officers and staff found to be responsible for this, will be held personally liable both in and out of office. If necessary, prosecutions of those responsible for the impending tragedy will be pursued up to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as will other civil remedies and damages.
“As clear malice has been demonstrated by staff of INEC, they are thereby stripped of any immunity they would otherwise be afforded for carrying out their duties. The people of Abia State will never accept that by a sleight of hand allegedly contained in some amorphous guideline, their Constitutional rights will be taken away from them.
Nwokocha requested that Jega should as a matter of urgency review the facts about the elections and treat them on their merits. “That your good self or any Committee or appropriate officer of INEC designated by you, urgently reviews the facts of the Abia State Gubernatorial elections, paying attention to the facts we have highlighted hereinabove and bearing in mind that no two cases are the same. The case of Abia State is peculiar and should be treated on its merits.”