Ikpeazu: Plot to Remove Me from Office Was a Coup d'etat
Embattled Abia state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu on Tuesday reviewed his experience in the last one week and surmised that the plot to remove him from office was a coup d'etat which he survived.
Ikpeazu also likened the experience to a death penalty saying he was lucky to be alive because if the court judgment that annulled the election had been a death sentence, he would have been executed in a haste without opportunity to appeal the sentence.
He relieved these experiences when he received the members of his cabinet as well as a delegation of Concerned Lawyers who came to pay him solidarity visit at the Government House.
According to him, the attempt to hastily implement the judgment of Justice Okon Abang was suspicious.
“The Abuja High Court ruling denied me of the right to exercise my fundamental human rights, which is the right of appeal. So if it was a case of execution, I would have been killed without giving me time to exercise my right of appeal before a court of competent jurisdiction,” he said.
Earlier the governor had told members of his cabinet, who came on solidarity visit, that he had indeed survived a coup plot hatched by all those involved in the “desperate efforts” to unseat him.
"The plot to remove me as governor was a coup d’état. I can't imagine that somebody who never contested election is seeking to be made a governor through the back door. I can't understand the rush by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue (Dr) Uche Ogah with a certificate of return. I also can't comprehend the rush to swear him in,” he declared in bewilderment.
Ikpeazu noted that the inference from the whole circumstances surrounding the bid to remove him was that the motive was not just the issue of tax as implied in the court judgment, alluding that the office of governor was being made to appear as a cash and carry commodity.
“The truth is that it goes beyond the issue of tax. I want to appeal to our Igbo brothers to see politics as a game of a winner and a loser. They should not bring the mercantile business style into politics. It won't help us," he said.
The governor told the lawyers that it was regrettable that a peaceful state like Abia was now being presented as a state at war with itself, adding that the political imbroglio had generated so much tension and polarized the state.
Ikpeazu used the forum to thank the lawyers in the state for educating the people of the state on the need to remain calm, “as the desperados had already come into the state to wreck havoc”.
Earlier the leader of the team, Bar Ogbonnaya Nwannunu said they had come to lend their support to the governor following the political crisis that the state has been plunged into with the attendant unnecessary legal fireworks.
"We have come to rob minds with the governor with the aim of finding lasting solutions and the way forward to the current political crisis in the state,” he said.
Nwannunu said that having x-rayed the case against Abia governor the lawyers were of the view that “the whole incident is a charade and that it will go in the way of others like it, as it is not the first time such is happening”.
He pointed out that there was no way a person who did not contest governorship election would emerge and become governor, pointing out that the only place where such anomaly occurred was Rivers, adding that the Electoral Act had been amended to prevent future occurrence.
“The case in question made the Electoral Act to be amended, so what is happening in Abia state where a man will dream of being a governor and wake up trying to make his dream a reality, is a rape of democracy and a coup d’état,” Nwannunu said.
According to him, those people planning “this evil” against the state were toying with the lives of Abians, “which we as a group will not allow to stand for the sake of today and the future”.
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