Iduma Enwo Igariwey, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2019 general election, said in the eye of the law, he is the governor of Ebonyi State since Tuesday when the Federal High Court, Abuja sacked David Umahi as the state’s Chief Executive.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja had in the judgment directed Umahi and his deputy to vacate their offices, and ordered INEC to immediately receive from the PDP the names of its candidates for replacement for the Governor and Deputy who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Igariwey said that by the order made by Justice Ekwo, Umahi ceased to be Governor of Ebonyi State since Tuesday and wondered why two days after the judgment he and his deputy still parade themselves as if they still occupy those offices.
He said: “This is contemptuous of the clear orders of a court of competent jurisdiction. We recognise the fact that former governor David Umahi has a right of appeal.
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However, until the entire appeal process is exhausted, and in the absence of any order staying the operation of Justice Ekwo’s judgment, Mr. Umahi remains sacked, a former governor, who should desist from any conduct that threatens the peace of Ebonyi State, or diminishes over constitutional democracy.
“While we acknowledge that INEC is in receipt of the communication from the National Chairman of the PDP, we call on INEC as a critical pillar of our constitutional democracy, to comply expeditiously with all the consequential orders of the court, particularly, by declaring the names submitted by the PDP as governor and deputy governor. This, the INEC is expected to do, by issuing Certificates of Return.
“At this point, let me thank our party, the People’s Democratic Party for the expeditious manner they have taken steps to give effect to the judgment of Justice Inyang Ekwo. This important first step was taken by the party when they submitted the names of Hon. Iduma Igariwey and Fred Udogu to INEC, as Governor and Deputy Governor respectively, to replace Governor Umahi and his deputy, in compliance with the order of Court.”