Against reports that Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, was in talks with the All Progressives Congress, APC, or possible defection, an aide of the governor has told The Neighbourhood there was no iota of truth in them.
The aide, who works with Ikpeazu’s official media team, but was not permitted officially to speak on the matter at this time, told this newspaper on Wednesday in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, that as far Governor Ikpeazu was concerned, joining APC was not an option. “There is no iota of truth in that rumour, for that is just what it is, a rumour. And it is nothing but the figment of the imagination of those behind it.”
The source, who also spoke on the forth-coming local government election, said Gov. Ikpeazu was committed to giving Abia State legacy projects to boost the infrastructure and economic status of the state. “Rather than waste time in rumour, Gov. Ikpeazu is working to make Abia State better through legacy projects. So, for those waiting for him to move to APC, they shall wait for eternity. Our governor is more concerned with the improved living standard of Abia people than with a party which only achievement is making Nigerians poorer.”
The aide dismissed a reported court ruling that barred the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission, ABSIEC, from going ahead with the local government election it fixed for Friday, December, 18. The aide told The Neighbourhood that the council poll would go ahead describing the court ruling was a “ruse”. He condemned APC for “working to truncate democracy in the state” as he argued that the decision by Gov. Ikpeazu to conduct the local government elections deserved commendation. “The Governor’s decision to conduct the elections was the right thing to do and should be encouraged. The Constitution is behind him and so, the December 18 elections in Abia State shall hold as scheduled by ABSIEC.”
The state electoral body had in September released the timetable and schedule of activities leading to the polls.
But an Abia State High Court sitting in Aba on Tuesday, December 2, gave an interim order restraining ABSIEC from conducting the Local Government election in the state slated for December 18, pending the determination of the motion on notice.
The state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had dragged ABSIEC to court over issues the party said infringed on the rights of its candidates and prayed the court to stop the electoral body from taking further actions that will limit the chances of winning in the election.
In his ruling, Justice Agwu Umah Kalu upon reading the motion ex-parte filed on November 26 brought in pursuant to Order 39 Rules (1) and (3) and Order Rule of the High Court Civil Procedure, the Affidavit in support of the motion and after hearing Perfect C. Okorie for the claimant, ordered for interim injunction restraining ABSIEC from taking any other step in the conducting of the election pending the determination of the motion on notice.
The court equally gave order restraining the defendant from demanding from the candidates of the applicant any fee for the purpose of the election.
The defendant was also restrained from refusing to issue the claimant with the relevant Forms for the election and from excluding the applicant’s candidates from participating in the election on the grounds of non-payment of fees imposed by the defendant or any other ground not supported by law pending the determination of the motion.
Hearing on the substantive matter was slated for Monday, December 7.