Sacked Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi has assured his supporters that there is nothing to worry about over the Federal High Court ruling in Abuja which struck out the stay of execution motion against his removal from office.
This is, however, as the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to present its nominated candidates, Iduma Igariwe and Fred Udogwu with Certificates of Return (CoRs).
The party also urged the Chief Justice of Ebonyi State to swear in Igariwe and Udogwu, as Governor and Deputy Governor, respectively.
Embattled Umahi gave the assurance on Monday when he addressed the All Progressives Congress (APC) faithful in the state during the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting in Abakaliki, Monday.
The governor while reacting to the development urged his supporters to remain calm.
“All these issues are distractions, the constitution is clear and I don’t want to waste much time on them.
“I saw reports on the social media over the stay of execution but everything about the matter has been sent to the appeal courts at Enugu and Abuja.
“The lower court no longer has jurisdiction over the matter so there is nothing to worry about,” he said.
He said that he was still in control of the state’s affairs as all ongoing projects executed by his administration would not be stopped.
“I will conclude my tenure on May 29, 2023 and those who want to take power by force can do so on Facebook.
“They can use whatever form to come in but we would match it 10 times.
“They are advised not to venture into Ebonyi because there is no vacancy,” he said.
Umahi urged the committee inaugurated to ensure equity in the distribution of elective positions in the state APC chapter to ensure that the people choose their leaders without bias.
“The zoning committee should consult with relevant stakeholders such as the elders committee, founding fathers forum, traditional rulers among others, to ensure equity and choosing of the right leaders.
“Most people feel that they would just be nominated and assisted to win elections only for them to be unproductive.
“I will only support a candidate who has the capacity to win election as the era of manipulations are over,” he said.
The stakeholders of the party used the occasion to assure the governor of their support and cooperation to ensure a successful conclusion of his administration.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately issue Certificates of Return (CoRs) to its nominees, Iduma Igariwe and Fred Udogwu as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, respectively.
Reacting the Federal High Court in Abuja ruling striking out of a stay of execution application by David Umahi and his sacked deputy, Kelechi Igwe, Monday, the PDP asked INEC to do the needful by presenting its nominees with the CoRs.
The Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo had on Tuesday, March 8 vacated both Umahi and Igwe as governor and Deputy of Ebonyi state for illegally defecting in November 2020, to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2020 from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under which platform they won the state governorship election in 2019.
The duo applied to the same court for a stay of execution on the order but Justice Ekwo rejected it on the grounds that the matter was already before the Court of Appeal.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, disclosed this in a statement on Monday titled; ‘Ebonyi: Issue certificates of return to Igariwe, Udogwu now, PDP charges INEC,’ said the ruling implies that ‘ INEC is bound to issue Certificates of Return immediately to Iduma Igariwe and Fred Udogwu as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively.’
“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 Iduma Igariwe and Fred Udogwu as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively.
“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 Iduma Igariwe and Fred Udogwu as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively.”
The main opposition said this is necessary to prevent the existence of vacuum in the government and governance of Ebonyi State as Umahi and Igwe can no longer exercise the functions of the office of Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State in accordance 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.
It commended 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 urges them to remain united under the PDP as we forge ahead in our mission to Rescue and Rebuild our country from the APC administration,” the PDP added.