Umahi, Deputy, secures order to remain in office
By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi
An Abakaliki High Court sitting in Ebonyi State, has ordered Governor David Umahi and his deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe, not to vacate their offices.
Justice Henry Njoku on Thursday granted the Order asking them not to vacate their offices, as the judgement of the same court on 28th February ,2022 on their defection to APC remains valid as a judgement in rem which is binding all parties, persons and authorities.
The order followed an Ex Parte motion filed by Mr Umahi and his deputy, over a Federal High Court judgement on March 8, 2022, which ordered them to vacate their offices for defecting from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Meanwhile, Justice Njoku had on February, 28, 2022, in a suit No HAB/13/2022 dismissed a suit seeking to sack Umahi and his Deputy from offices for defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.
The suit was filed by Senator Sunny Ogbuorji who contested governorship on the platform of the APC in 2019, and his running mate, Justin Ogodo Mbam.
The plaintiffs had asked Court to order Umahi and his deputy to vacate their offices having defected from the PDP on which platform they were elected as Governor and deputy and relinquish the positions for them, having came second in the governorship election.
But barely seven days of Justice Njoku’s ruling, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in another suit, on Tuesday sacked Umahi and his deputy for defecting to the APC.
But delivering ruling on a motion ex-parte motion brought before the honourable Court by Barrister Roy Umahi, Counsel to the defendants (Umahi and his deputy), on Thursday,
Justice Njoku maintained that his earlier judgement which came before the judgement of the Federal High Court remains valid and subsisting.
He said: “an interim order of this Honourable Court for seven days (7) subject to renewal is hereby granted, in view of its judgement in Suit NO HAB/13/2022 delivered on 28th Day of February, 2022 being a judgement in rem, and having precedence over any subsequent contrary judgement. The applicants hereto, Engr David Umahi and Dr Kelechi Igwe shall accordingly remain and not removed from office As Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively”.
Justice Njoku also called on all Parties to obey the Court orders and refrain from abusing judicial process.
Copies of the Court Order