Umahi: Save Ebonyi from ‘governorship vacuum’, PDP urges INEC
Umahi: Save Ebonyi from ‘governorship vacuum’, PDP urges INEC.
The Peoples Democratic Party, Ebonyi State chapter, has appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission to save the state from the “governorship vacuum” it created by the non-issuance of a certificate of return to Mr Idu Igariwey.
The party recalled that Justice Enyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had last week sacked Governor David Umahi and his deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe, for defecting to the All Progressives Congress and ordered the PDP, which they defected from, to nominate a candidate to inherit its votes.
As a sequel to the judgment, the party nominated Igariwey to inherit the party’s votes but INEC has yet to comply with the order of the court.
Addressing a press conference in Enugu on Sunday, the Ebonyi State chairman of the PDP, Chief Tochukwu Okorie, alleged that the present problem in the state was caused by INEC’s non-withdrawal of certificate of return from Umahi and issuance of same to Igariwey.
Okorie, who disclosed that Umahi was yet to appeal the judgment of Justice Enyang Ekwo that sacked him and his deputy, explained that Umahi’s application for a stay of execution was yet to be granted and wondered why the electoral umpire would stand on the way of justice.
Okorie said: “The National Leadership of our great party has long complied with the ruling of the court by submitting Rt Hon Enwo Iduma Ighariwey and Chief Fred Udogu to the Independent National Electoral Commission as a replacement for Umahi and his deputy.
“We have also ensured that the judgment and other records of the court were transmitted to the Commission too. What is standing, therefore, between the inauguration of the new administration of their Excellencies the Governor and Deputy Governor designate at the moment is INEC to issue them with their Certificates of Return in compliance with the ruling of the court. We urge the Commission to act expeditiously in this regard.
“NdiEbonyi should note that Ex-governor Umahi has neither been granted any stay of execution of the declaratory orders of the court nor has he successfully appealed the judgment. All he has done is to apply for stay of execution and file a notice of appeal; neither of which can act as a stay of execution. Similarly, the different court papers emanating from some state high courts cannot and do not confer any imprimatur of a stay of execution.”