Thursday, August 18, 2016

Abia Governorship Tussle: Ikpeazu wins first appeal

An Abuja division of the Court of Appeal, on Thursday, faulted the judgement by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which sacked the embattled Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu.
Justice Abang had on July 27, 2016 sacked Ikpeazu as governor over tax evasion.

The judge had on July 8 insisted that he had jurisdiction to hear a motion for stay of execution of his earlier judgments delivered even after the appeals against the judgments had been entered.

Delivering the ruling, the Justice Helen Ogunwumiju-led five-man bench held that Abang’s judgment was made in error.

Reading the judgement, Justice Philomina Ekpe, held that Justice Abang in line with time-honoured doctrine of “stari decisis” should have transferred the motion to the Court of Appeal for determination.

Justice Ekpe also held that Justice Abang wrongly interpreted the provisions of Order 4(10) and (11) of the Court of Appeal rules when he held that the said provisions were only applicable to an interlocutory ruling of the lower court.

The judge read that Justice Abang lacked jurisdictions to interpret the provisions of the Court of Appeal being the rules of a superior court.

A member of the panel, Justice Ogunwumiju, held that Abang by justifying his jurisdiction to hear the motion, when an appeal has been entered, “deliberately stood the law on its head.”

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