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Defiance of Court Order: Abia Speaker Rejects Inauguration of PDP Lawmaker-elect



In a move defying a court order, Aaron Uzodike, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who was declared the winner of the House of Assembly election for Aba North constituency on March 18, 2023, by the Court of Appeal, is urging the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Emmanuel Emereuwa, to swear him in.

The Court of Appeal in Lagos had on November 27, 2023, declared Uzodike the rightful winner of the election, removing Mr. Destiny Nwagwu of the Labour Party (LP) from office.

Addressing reporters in Umuahia about his ordeal, Uzodike has appealed to Governor Alex Otti to ensure the Speaker complies with the law and inaugurates him promptly. He pointed out that his constituents have been without representation for the past five months.

During the interview, Uzodike showcased his Certificate and Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment, expressing shock at the delay in his inauguration despite receiving a Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on December 13, 2023.

He mentioned that the Abia State High Court in Obehie, Ukwa LGA, on March 19, 2024, dismissed a case brought by his opponent, Destiny Nwagwu, who claimed to be scrutinizing Uzodike’s certificates.

Uzodike recounted that the House had set January 18, 2024, for his inauguration but claimed the Speaker informed him that influential individuals were hindering his swearing-in.

“There were no legal impediments to my inauguration between November 27, 2023, and January 18, 2024. Currently, there is no court order preventing my swearing-in,” he stated.

Responding to calls by some Aba traditional leaders to declare the Aba North seat vacant due to his alleged poor health, Uzodike refuted claims of illness made by the monarchs, labeling them as impostors hired from a different constituency to smear his name.

“I arrived at the Abia State House of Assembly on April 16, 2024, prepared to fulfill my duties in good health, only for the Speaker to neglect his responsibilities,” he lamented.

Furthermore, Uzodike dismissed rumors of being pressured to switch allegiance from the PDP to the LP in exchange for his Aba North seat, affirming his continued loyalty to the PDP without entering any agreements.