The National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Ike Oye, said yesterday that the party is awaiting the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to swear in its candidate, Dr. Alex Otti as the new Abia State governor.
INEC was last Thursday ordered by the Appeal Court which sat in Owerri, Imo State to swear in Dr. Otti.
He spoke to Daily Sun in Umuahia where he gave the reason Otti was yet to be sworn in after the verdict of the Appeal Court which gave the order that he should be sworn in within a specific time frame.
Oye said as a law-abiding party that believes in the Rule of Law, that the Appeal Court made it clear that Otti won the election and so, INEC should make arrangement to swear him as the governor.
“That was the ruling of the Court of Appeal that sat in Owerri. When he will be sworn in is dependent on INEC,” Oye said. According to him, “the court said INEC should make arrangement, it did not say that APGA should make arrangement, the directive is very clear. If they had said that APGA should do that, we would have sworn him in the same night,” he explained.
He said that his party is following directive, “waiting for INEC to give us the green light for him to be sworn in. The responsibility falls on INEC for him to be sworn in. That was the ruling of the Appeal Court, he explained further.
He stated that since the judgment was given, Abia people have been up-beat, adding that they do not expect anything less and as far as the 2015 governorship election was concerned.
Meanwhile, the state police command has warned those demonstrating against the Appeal Court judgment which sacked Ikpeazu to desist from disturbing the peace, or face the wrath of the law.
But reacting, Ikpeazu said he has the right to remain in office pending the outcome of the suit he filed at the apex court to challenge the annulment of his victory.
Ikpeazu, in a letter his lawyer wrote to INEC, wondered why the court overruled the tribunal, which upheld his election. His lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), had in the letter said: “Our client was elected by the electorate as the governor of Abia State in the governorship election held on April 11 and 25, 2015.
“Upon his return as the governor by INEC, Mr. Alex Otti and his political party, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) challenged his return at the governorship election tribunal sitting at Umuahia, and which tribunal dismissed their petition on November 3, 2015. Being dissatisfied with the judgment of the tribunal, the petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeal, and by the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered on December 31, 2015, the court allowed the appeal and declared Alex Otti as governor of Abia State,” he said.