From Steph Clem
The PDP governorship flag bearer in Abia state, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has dispelled rumours that he was disqualified from the governorship race, saying the allegations are only the machination of his detractors.
He said at a press briefing in Umuahia that some people had sued one Chief Okezie Ikpeazu who they mistook for him, questioning his tax papers.
He said that as soon as the matter was brought to him, he quickly gathered his documents and tax clearance and submitted them before The Abuja High Court 2 where the matter was taken to.
He added that the court after scrutinising his papers, dismissed the case at once and awarded cost to the litigant for damages.
According to Dr. Ikpeazu, for over twelve years, he had been in the services of the state government as a public officer, wherein his tax was deducted at source and remitted as PAYEE, saying he had no business handling tax money.
He said it was really a non issue for anyone to accuse him of tax evasion since it was compulsorily deducted from his salaries.
He however said he acknowledged the fact that the reason his political opponents are attacking him is because they consider him a threat.
Dr. Ikpeazu who described his emergence as the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the state as a product of consensus endorsements by major stakeholders in the state, said that did not transcend to ‘godfatherrism’ as no such thing will ever resurface in the political space of Abia anymore.
He said he was lucky to be enjoying the support of the governor, Chief Theodore Orji who has assured him that once elected as governor, he would never allow him to suffer the same fate as he did in the hands of his own predecessor.
He further reeled out some of his visions for the state, and stated that he aims at consolidating on the existing infrastructure in order to fully develop the state and also seek other means of generating resources to complement the federal allocation for the state.
Also speaking, a member of the legal team of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Barrister Teddy Eruba described as idiotic the allegation that INEC was capable of disqualifying any candidate whose name had been submitted by the party.
He said that tax evasion is also not a reason according to law to disqualify any candidate from contesting an election in Nigeria.