‘I Did Not Abscond, I Am On Ground In Umuahia’ – Abia Chief Judge Breaks Silence

Mrs. Theresa Uzokwe, chief judge of Abia State, has broken her silence on the political impasse in the state, dismissing reports that she went underground to avoid swearing in a challenger to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Dr. Charles Ogah.

Uzokwe said “mischievous politicians” were behind the reports that she had “disappeared”, saying there is evidence to prove that she absconded from duty and she was at work on the last working day of the week, which was Thursday, June 30, 2016.
Governor T.A Orji congratulating Hon. Justice Theresa Uzokwe after her swearing in as the new Acting Chief Judge in Umuahia | Abia Gov't Photo

“Contrary to the allegations of cowardice by mischievous politicians, the chief judge, was in her office throughout work time on Thursday 30 June 2016 from 8:30am till 4:30pm,” an e-mailed statement issued on Sunday, July 3, 2016 by the acting chief registrar of Abia, Vicky Analaba, said. The chief judge says she decided to release a statement to “set records straight”.

“The attention of the chief judge of Abia state, Justice has been drawn to various spurious and mischievous reports alleging that the Honorable Chief Judge had absconded from her duty post on Thursday 30th June 2016, to avoid swearing in Uche Ogah as Governor of Abia State,”

“For the avoidance of doubt, on Thursday 30th June 2016, the chief judge was in her courtroom performing her lawful duties, including the delivery of four rulings on that date.

“The particulars of the ruling in question are: HU/35CM/2015 FRANCIS AKOR vs THE STATE; HU/ICM/2016-JOHNSON ASIEGBU vs. COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, HU/42CM/2016-ONYEKACHI SAMUEL vs. COMMISSIONER OF POLICE; HU/34CM/2016-LUCKY SAMPSON vs. THE STATE.

“These facts are verifiable and in the records of the court. The various lawyers who appeared in the respective suits listed above are also living witnesses.

“This press release has become necessary in order to avoid further mischief and to set the records straight.”

Abia Governorship Tussle

Governor Ikpeazu is facing a legal challenge from a bitter rival from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Charges Ogah. A federal high court in Abuja disqualified Dr. Ikpeazu, last Wednesday on account of alleged forged tax returns.

Ikpeazu had filed an appeal and obtained a stay of execution, against the Justice Okon Abang judgement which threw Abia State into a leadership crisis by ordering the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to issue a certificate of return to Ogah, who did not contest any election.

INEC went on to issue the certificate of return to Ogah in disobedience to the court injunction.

Meanwhile, a high court in Abia has issued an injunction against the swearing-in of Dr. Ogah. Reports from Abia on Friday claimed that the chief judge of the state had “disappeared”.

However, Sunday, Justice Theresa Uzokwe issued a statement denying the reports saying she is “on ground” in Umuahia, the state’s capital. She said the reports were the handiwork of desperate politicians.

“We have become children of war in Abia, and we must fight war,” Governor Ikpeazu told his supporters who trooped into Government House, Umuahia in solidarity on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of Abia State at a solidarity rally at the Government House in Umuahia, Abia State on Friday, July 1, 2016 | Obed Nnaji



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