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Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has asserted that he has not lost sleep since the counter pronouncement by a Federal High Court in Abuja, ordering that he and his deputy, Eric Igwe should vacate their seats as Governor and deputy respectively.
He maintained that asides from the immutable fact that he presently enjoys immunity as an elected Governor, votes secured during an election legally belong to the candidate and not a political party as held by the courts.
Umahi further stressed that the distinction between himself and Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, whom he lambasted for carrying out the hatchet job and likened to Judas Iscariot in the Bible, is their faith.
According to Governor Umahi, he serves only the living God while that of his Rivers counterpart (whose name he refused to out-rightly mention) might be based on alcohol.
The governor’s comments are in reaction to the judgement of a Federal High Court in Abuja, ordering his sack and that of his deputy, following their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In its judgment, the court maintained that the PDP won the election in March 2019 and not the candidates. It further held that having defected to the APC, Governor Umahi, and his deputy cannot transfer the mandate of the PDP to the opposition party.
Citing section 221 of the constitution, Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered the PDP to immediately send names of replacements to INEC so that fresh elections can be conducted, an order which the party has swiftly obeyed.
While Umahi has called on his supporters to remain calm after the Federal High Court order, PDP’s nominee for Governor of Ebonyi State, Iduma Igariwey, has asked incumbent Dave Umahi to vacate office without delay.
Mr Igariwey, a member of the House of Representatives, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to comply immediately with the court order and issue a certificate of return to him and his proposed deputy, Mr Fred Udeogu.
He said he was concerned that a few days after the court order, Governor Umahi was still parading himself as governor when there is no stay of execution order.
The Eastern Updates reports that the PDP has also called on the INEC to immediately issue certificates of return to Igariwe and Udogwu.
According to the PDP, INEC, pursuant to the provision of Section 287(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) which provides that ‘the decisions of the Federal High Court, National Industrial Court, a High Court and of all other courts established by this Constitution shall be enforced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons, and by other courts of law with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Federal High Court, National Industrial Court, a High Court, and those other courts, respectively” is bound to issue certificates of return immediately to Hon. Iduma Igariwe and Fred Udogwu as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively’.
Given this development, the PDP also demanded that the Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, upon the issuance of the certificates, proceed to swear in the duo.
THE EASTERN UPDATES