‘Ogah is in Court because he was denied the opportunity to contest the governorship election under PDP’
By: Toby Chuks
A Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital and presided over by Justice Anyadike is set to hear a Motion brought before the Court by Mr Ndubisi Etugo Ogah seeking to stop the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from fielding and recognizing Professor Uche Ikonne as governorship candidate of the party for the 2023 governorship election because an Agreement of rotation of power in Abia State known as Abia Charter of Equity did not favor the Senatorial zone where Ikonne come from to produce the next governor of Abia State
Ogah, in a motion of exparte suit no FHC/UM/CS/63/2022 filed by his lawyer P. C. Dike, is seeking an order from the Court to stop PDP and INEC from fielding and recognizing Professor Ikonne who is from Abia Central Senatorial zone as governorship candidate for 2023 election in Abia State and return the governorship ticket to Abia North because going by an Agreement signed by the founding fathers of the State known as Abia Charter of Equity (ACE) it is the turn of Abia North Senatorial zone to produce the next governror of Abia State in 2023 and not Abia Central.
According to Barr Dike who briefed journalists on the matter, Ogah his client who is from Isikwuato in Abia North Senatorial zone is in Court because he was denied the opportunity to contest the governorship election under PDP by the leader of the party in the State Governor Okeziie Ikpeazu who refused to recognize the ACE Agreement of rotation of the governorship seat among the three Senatorial zones in the State singed by the founding fathers led by late governror of old Eastern region Dr M.I Okpara.
The Lawyer explained “Going by ACE Agreement, it is the turn of Abia North to produce the governor of Abia State in 2023, so my client who is from Abia North came out to contest the governorship election, but he was denied the opportunity to buy the PDP form and contest for the governorship ticket after obtaining the express of interest form by Governror Okeziie Ikpeazu and his cohort in PDP who refused to recognize the ACE Agreement and took the governorship ticket to Abia Central zone.
The Lawyer expressed the hope his client is going to win the case as according to him that zoning and rotation of power under the ACE is as old as Abia State and well known among the quarters that make up the State namely: Afikpo, Bende, Isikwuato and Aba with Afikpo producing the first elected governor in the person of Ogbonnaya Onu before Afikpo was ceded to Ebonyi State when Ebonyi was created
Brandishing a copy of the ACE before journalists, Barr Dike echoed with fact that Abia North produced Governor Orji Uzor Kanu when democracy returned in 1999 under the same arrangement of zoning and rotation of power with Theodore Orji from Abia Central accordingly taking over from Kalu as Governor in 2007 to ensure a smooth run of the Charter of Equity.
He stated further, “There was an attempt to truncate the Chatter of Equity in 2015 by a group called Save Abia Group among other people individually and collectively but Theodore Orji as incumbent Governor stood his ground to defend it and ensured that Abia South produced the Governor in 2015 in the person of Okezie Ikpeazu after himself from Abia Central took over from Kalu from North.
He also noted on March 6 this Senator Theordore Orji as an ex Governror and a leader invited three PDP leaders and stakeholders including the elders from each Local governments of Abia State for a meeting in Umuahia and informed them that it is the turn of Abia North to produce the governor in 2023 according to the Charter of Equity and they all agreed but Governror Ikpeazu ignored the decision of the meeting for his clanish interest.
“Also joined and listed as defendants/respondents to the case are: the PDP, National Chairman Iyorvhia Ayu, INEC, zonal Chairman of PDP in South East geopolitical zone, Ali Odefa, state Chairman in Abia State, Asiforo Okere.. Others joined and listed as defendants/respondents are the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, a governorship aspirant on the platform of PDP in Abia State, Ikonne, current Acting Board of Trusses (BoT) Chairman of PDP Senator Adolphous Nwabara, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe representing Abia South in the Senate and former Chairman of NDDC Chief Onyema Ugochukwu.