The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue Certificates of Return to Hon. Iduma Igariwe and Fred Udogwu as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively immediately and without any further delay.
The party insisted that it is in furtherance of the Order of the Federal High Court issued in Abuja on Monday, March 21, 2022 refusing to grant Stay of Execution to the former Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David 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.
“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,” PDP said.
The party, in a statement by its spokesman, Hon. Debo Ologunagba added that “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 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.
The party also congratulated 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.”
Meanwhile, Governor David Umahi said today, Monday, February 21, 2022 that they voluntarily withdrew their application for stay of execution from the Federal High Court Abuja, having appealed the judgment delivered by the Court which sacked him and his deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe, from their respective offices.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja on Monday struck out, an application for stay of execution file by Umahi and his deputy, asking it to order stay of execution of its March 8, 2022, judgement which sacked Umahi and his deputy.
A statement by Umahi’s spokesman, Mr Francis Nwaze, on Monday, explained that Umahi and his deputy, voluntarily withdrew the application for stay of execution, since the matter had been entered at the court of appeal and records of proceedings also transmitted to the appellate court.
The statement urged the public to disregard wrong interpretations and insinuations from some “mischievous” quarters about the proceedings of the Federal High Court on Monday which struck out the application for stay of execution filed by Umahi and his deputy.
The statement reads in part, “Governor Umahi and his deputy, Barr. Igwe, having appealed the judgment of the Federal High Court of March 8, 2022, on their defection to All Progressives Congress through their team of lawyers led by Chukwuma Machukwu-Ume, SAN did inform the court for a withdrawal of their earlier application for stay of execution.
“The above was because an appeal has been entered at the court of appeal and records of proceedings have been transmitted to the appellate court.
“On the notice above, Emmanuel Ukala, PDP counsel, did not oppose the application.
“Consequently, Ekwo struck out the application following confirmation that a valid appeal had been entered at the Court of Appeal, Abuja division, challenging the verdict on them and at this point, the Federal High Court, from which the appeals emanated, ceased to have jurisdiction to entertain any matter on those cases.
“Let me equally confirm that a valid application for stay of execution has been made at the Court of Appeal which now has jurisdiction over the case and we urge the good people of Ebonyi State and supporters of our Presidential Hopeful and the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi to remain calm, avoid being distracted as we are on a divine mandate and the court remains the final hope of a common man just as we are optimistic that we shall get victory at the end”.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.