The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has issued Samson Ogah the Certificate of Return as the new governor of Abia State, three days after Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was sacked by a court, the News Agency of Nigeria has reported.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had on Monday directed Mr. Ikpeazu to immediately vacate office after convicting him of tax evasion.

The court also ordered INEC to issue a certificate of return to Mr. Ogah, who contested the governorship ticket with the governor on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Mr. Ikpeazu had said through his Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos, that he remained the governor because he was challenging the judgment in a higher court.

As an appointee of Abia State Government from 2011 to 2014, he argued that his taxes were deducted at source.
He also argued that the state Board of Internal Revenue in 2014 issued him with valid tax receipts shortly before he contested the governorship election in the state.

A government spokesperson told PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday that Mr Ikpeazu was “not going anywhere”, and that he was remaining in office.