The court, however, dismissed the suit filed by Chief Friday Nwosu, seeking to remove the governor for allegedly presenting forged tax certificate to his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Nwosu, a guber aspirant on the PDP during December 8, 2014 primary, approached the court requesting that he be declared Abia State governor on the grounds that Ikpeazu was not qualified to fly the flag of PDP during 2015 election.
Delivering judgment in the suit, the presiding judge, Justice Lewis Allagoa, stated that the plaintiff through his counsel failed to justify his claim that the tax certificate submitted by Ikpeazu was forged.
Allagoa noted that aside looking at documents in litigation, proving a forged matter required adequate clarification and additional proof by experts before a forgery claim could be established by law.
On the claim that Ikpeazu was not properly taxed in the year 2011, the court noted that it was not the position of Ikpeazu, but that of the tax official to determine how tax payers could be taxed.
The court maintained that since the issuing authority (Abia State Board of Internal Revenue) was not joined in the suit nor was an expert engaged to ascertain the authenticity of the document it would be unlawful for the court to rule in favour of the plaintiff.
On the third relief seeking to dismiss the claim to the governorship position by Dr Uche Ogah, the court ruled in favour of the plaintiff, noting “Ogah is not eligible to enjoy the outcome of the PDP primary because he rejected the result of the primary.”
Allagoa had earlier favoured Nwosu on two other grounds; that the originating summons filed were properly done and that the Federal High Court has jurisdiction to hear the pre-election suit.
Reacting to the judgment which lasted more than two hours, Dr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), J.T.U. Nnodum and Theo Nkire who represented the Independent National Electoral Commission, PDP and Ikpeazu respectively said that the judgment was a landmark one.
Nkire specifically commended the Justice for his industry in reviewing all issues raised by parties and at the end gave a sound judgment that would be hard to fault elsewhere.
Mr Francis Unyimadu, the plaintiff’s counsel, also thanked the court for the judgment and added that his client would critically look at the judgment and know what next to do.