HomePoliticsNominee Fumes As Court Orders Umahi To Retain Seat

Nominee Fumes As Court Orders Umahi To Retain Seat

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A member of the federal House of Representatives, Iduma Igariwey, has described the continued occupation of the office of the Governor of Ebonyi State by David Umahi as illegal, insisting that he is now a former governor and should vacate office.

The Eastern Updates had earler reported that Igariwey, was nominated by the Peoples Democratic Party nominated to replace Umahi after a Federal High Court sacked the incumbent, asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to enforce the court judgment and declare him the governor.

The lawmaker’s address was titled, ‘Justice Inyang Ekwo’s judgments of March 8, 2022, sacking Governor David Umahi and his deputy: A call on former Governor David Umahi to vacate office without further delay’.

He said, ‘The Constitution, under sections 240 and 241, allows a party like Umahi in this case to appeal to the Court of Appeal, but that appeal does not stop the person, who got the judgment from enjoying the fruits of the judgment. What Umahi will do if he wants to stay in that office is to get a stay of execution of this judgment.

‘In the absence of a stay of execution by a court of competent jurisdiction, we are not asking him to go to the Abakaliki High Court and procure a stay of execution; that will not suffice in this circumstance; he needs to approach this same court that delivered this judgment. It is this court that will consider the merit of granting that stay of execution or not.

‘That you have gone to appeal does not stop the process of obeying the court order, which is the case now. What will stay in our hands is if there is a stay of execution properly ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.’

Meanwhile, Umahi and his deputy, Kelechi Igwe, have secured an interim order from the High Court of Ebonyi State not to vacate their offices.

Read Also: I Remain Governor of Ebonyi, Umahi Says Following Court Sack

This followed the granting of an ex parte motion by counsel for the duo, Roy Umahi, brought pursuant to rule 3(3) of the High Court rules in suit number HAB/13/22.

The court had on February 28, 2022 ruled that Umahi and his deputy did not flout any law by defecting to the All Progressive Congress from the Peoples Democratic Party.

The court, presided over by Justice Henry Njoku, had dismissed the matter for lacking in merit and fined the plaintiff, Sunny Ogbuoji, who was the APC candidate and runner-up in the 2019 governorship election N500,000.

However, an Abuja Federal High Court, on March 8, 2022, ruled on a similar matter filed by the PDP and ordered the governor and his deputy to vacate their seats.

Justice Inyang Ekwo further ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to accept new nominations for the two positions from the PDP and to issue them with certificates of return for them to be sworn in as governor and deputy.

Umahi and his deputy rejected the Abuja ruling, arguing that the Ebonyi High Court ruling should take precedence.

To this effect, Umahi and Igwe approached the same Ebonyi High Court on Thursday and prayed it to declare that its February 28 judgment remained valid and as such, should take precedence over any other contrary judgment and should be binding on all parties, persons and authorities.

In his ruling, Justice Henry Njoku granted the prayers sought by the duo and adjourned the matter till March 16 for hearing on the motion on notice.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Francis Nwifuru, and 14 other lawmakers sacked by the Abuja court for defecting to the APC from the PDP, on Thursday, said they were dissatisfied with the judgment.

Justice Ekwo, had on Tuesday, declared vacant the seats of Nwifuru and the 14 other lawmakers.

The judge ordered INEC to conduct a bye-election to fill the vacant seats in the respective constituencies within 90 days.


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