Sack: Umahi, Deputy Notify Court of Appeal against Judgement

0

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State yesterday informed a Federal High Court of the appeal filed against the court’s judgment ordering him and his deputy, Eric Igwe to vacate office as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively.

This is just as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has declared that Umahi and Igwe can no longer exercise the functions of Ebonyi State governor and deputy governor respectively

However, Umahi through his lawyer, Chukwuma Machukwu-Ume, accordingly applied to the court to withdraw the application for stay of execution of the judgment pending their appeal at the higher court.

Justice Ekwo had in a judgment delivered on March 8, ordered the applicants to vacate the elected offices they occupied owing to their defection from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) whose platform they became governor and deputy to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The court had held that their continued stay in office was illegal, null and unconstitutional on the grounds that votes in an election belongs to political parties and such votes cannot be transferred, hence the applicants who won the 2019 election with the PDP cannot transfer the votes of the PDP to the APC following their defection.

The judge further ordered the PDP to present another candidate to replace the decamped governor and deputy, or in the alternative, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should conduct a fresh poll within 90 days.

Shortly after a Notice of Appeal was filed at the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, Umahi and his deputy had brought an application for stay of execution of the judgment, pending their appeal.

However, the application was not heard last week following request by Machukwu-Ume for a short adjournment to enable him correct some noticeable clerical errors in the motions.

ALSO READ   SERAP Sues Buhari Over Move to Borrow N895b from Dormant Accounts

The request was granted with the court fixing fixed March 21, for hearing in the motion for stay.

The court also fixed same date for hearing a similar motion by 15 lawmakers of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, whom were also sacked for decamping from the PDP to APC.

When the matter came up yesterday, Machukwu-Ume informed the court of his intention to withdraw the application for stay.

According to him, the appeal of the respondents have been entered at the Court of Appeal and records of proceedings also transmitted to the appellate court.

He said as such he would be asking to withdraw the application seeking to stay execution of the judgment that sacked Umahi, his deputy and 15 members of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly.

Counsel to the PDP, Chief Emmanuel Ukala, however, did not oppose the application. Consequently, the court struck out the application for stay.

Umahi and his deputy, in the motion on notice brought pursuant to order 26 rules 1 & 2(1) and order 32 rules 1 & 4(1), of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) rules 2019, are praying the court for an order staying the execution of the orders made in the judgment of the court delivered on March 8, 2022.

They are specifically seeking a stay of execution of the order of court directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately receive from the PDP, the names of its candidates to replace them.

In addition, they want the court to stay the execution of its order directing INEC to hold a governorship election in accordance with section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution.

ALSO READ   Lagos Assembly approves death penalty for kidnappers

Furthermore, they want another order staying the execution of the order of court directing INEC to immediately declare the persons nominated by the PDP as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively.

Umahi Can No Longer Exercise Functions of Governor, Says PDP

Meanwhile, the PDP has averred that Umahi and Igwe can no longer exercise the functions of Ebonyi State governor and deputy governor respectively.

The National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba said this yesterday, pursuant to the order of the Federal High Court, which removed them from office and the subsequent order of the Federal High Court today, which refused their application for stay of execution.

The PDP also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately and without any further delay, issue certificates of return to Iduma Igariwe and Fred Udogwu as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively.

In a statement by Ologunagba, the PDP also demanded that the Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, upon the issuance of Certificates of Return by INEC proceed to swear in Igariwe and Udogwu as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively.

The party added: “This is in furtherance of the Order of the Federal High Court issued in Abuja today, Monday, March 21, 2022 refusing to grant Stay of Execution to the former Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Nweze Umahi and his Deputy, Kelechi Igwe over their removal from office by the Court.

“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.

ALSO READ   Federal High Court Begins 2022 Annual Vacation July 25

“In this regard, the PDP also demands that the Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, upon the issuance of Certificates of Return by INEC proceed to swear in Hon. Iduma Igariwe and Fred Udogwu as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively.

“This is absolutely necessary to prevent the existence of vacuum in the government and governance of Ebonyi State as Messers Umahi and Igwe can no longer exercise the functions of the office of Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State pursuant to the Order of the Federal High Court which removed them from office on March 8, 2022 and the subsequent Order of the Federal High Court today, which refused their application for Stay of Execution.

“The PDP commends the judiciary for its courage in defending the Constitution as well as the will of the people of Ebonyi State as expressed in their votes for the PDP in the 2019 governorship election.

“Our party also congratulates the people of Ebonyi State for the restoration of their mandate and urged them to remain united under the PDP as we forge ahead in our mission to Rescue and Rebuild our country from the rudderless APC administration,” the statement read.

Thisday

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here