GOVERNOR Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State said on Friday that he would challenge the Federal High Court judgement that sacked him up to the Supreme Court.
Ikpeazu said this at the Government House, Umuahia, while reacting to Thursday’s issuance of certificate of return by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to Dr Uchechukwu Ogah.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja had in his judgement on Monday ordered INEC to issue a certificate of return to Ogah and also ordered Ikpeazu to vacate office.
The development caused tension in the state on Thursday, following an alleged attempt by Ogah to get the state Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Uzokwe, to swear him in as the governor.
Briefing newsmen at the Government House, Ikpeazu said this would not stand, saying that there was an injunction restraining Ogah from being sworn in.
He said: “I am still the governor of Abia, so, I appeal to our people to remain calm until the final verdict of the Supreme Court.
“This illegality will not stand. I will test the judgment in the Appeal Court up to the Supreme Court.
“Even if it was a death sentence, I don’t think that I would be executed without right of appeal.
“That right is fundamental, that right is undeniable and a denial of that right is a denial of my fundamental right,” he said.
The governor said that he was resolute in his determination to defend the mandate given to him and assured the people that the mandate was still intact.
“What is on trial in Abia is democracy and not me as a person,” he said.