- Governor Umahi of Ebonyi state and his deputy, Kelechi Igwe, have taken an important step to ensure they remain in office
- The duo obtained an interim order from the Ebonyi state high court which will ensure they remain in office at least for seven days
- Meanwhile, the PDP nominated governor has kicked, saying Umahi's continued stay in office after his sack is illegal
Abakaliki, Ebonyi state - Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state and his deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe, have obtained an interim order from a state high court that would last for seven days.
The order states that the duo (applicants) shall remain and not be removed from office as governor and deputy governor of the state, respectively.
Legit.ng gathers that the order was issued by Justice Henry Njoku, who had on Monday, February 28, 2022, ruled in favour of Umahi in a suit filled by the governorship candidate, Senator Sonny Ogbuorji of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 elections.
The motion which is contained in a statement released by Governor Umahi's media aide, Francis Nwaze, read in part:
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“Motion Ex-parte dated and filled on 9th March 2022 and brought pursuant to order 39 rule 3(3) of the high court rule of Ebonyi state, 2008 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the honourable court coming before His Leadership, Justice Henry Njoku on 10th March 2022 praying the court as follow.
“An Interim order of the court for seven days (subject to renewal) that in view of its judgement in suit No.HAB/13/2022 delivered on 28th February, 2022 being a judgement in rem and having procedure over any subsequent contrary judgement.
“The applicants Engr. David Umahi and Dr. Eric Kelechi Igwe shall remain and not removed from office as governor and deputy governor of the state, respectively."
Umahi, Igwe ask federal high court for stay of execution
Similarly, Umahi and Igwe have also asked a Federal High Court for an order to stay the execution of its judgment, directing them to vacate their offices over defection.
In a motion on notice filed by their counsel, Chukwuma Ma-Chukwu Ume (SAN), the applicants further prayed the court for an order staying the execution of the orders made in the judgment delivered on March 8, 2022, directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately receive from the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), the names of its candidates to replace them, Daily Trust reported.
PDP's "nominated governor" Iduma Igariwey kicks
Meanwhile, a member of the House of Representatives, Iduma Igariwey, has described the continued occupation of the office of the governor of Ebonyi state by David Umahi as illegal, saying he is now a former governor, The Punch reported.
Igariwey, who the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nominated to replace Umahi after a Federal High Court sacked the incumbent, asked INEC to enforce the court judgment and declare him the governor.
“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," the lawmaker said.
Umahi: INEC speaks on verdict sacking Ebonyi governor, deputy
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it was yet to receive the certified true copy of the court's judgment which sacked Governor Umahi and his deputy on Tuesday, March 8.
This was made known by Festus Okoye, INEC's national commissioner and chairman of the information and voter education committee, who spoke with newsmen in Abuja.
Okoye revealed that once the commission gets the said court document, it will convene a meeting on what next to do.