HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA has asked Mr Dave Umahi to step down from the position of governor of Ebonyi State in compliance with the judgement of the federal high court made by honourable justice Inyang Ekwo.
It is unfortunate that a man who has worked as a governor of a state for seven years plus to be seen casting aspersions openly against a judge of a competent court of law which is another of the three arms of government via legislature, judiciary and the executive. It is the height of executive rascality for the former governor of Ebonyi state Dave Umahi to use unprintable words to describe a judge of a federal high court and indeed one of the finest jurists in Nigeria given his prodigious intellectual output as an author of outstanding legal books.
This disrespectful attitudes of Umahi demonstrates the truism in what we had said previously that he, Umahi lacks the temperament to be the president of Nigeria. If by mistake or accident Mr. Umahi becomes the next President, then he will pocket the judiciary and install his puppets as judges to do his biddings.
His (Dave Umahi’s) unguarded utterances and his calculated but unwarranted diatribe targeted at the judiciary of Nigeria is to say the least disappointing. It is even sadder that INEC is yet to comply and enforce the judgment of the court. Why is INEC also disrespecting the law? Why is a man already stripped legally of the authority of the governor of Ebonyi State still parading about as governor and the law enforcement agencies are aiding and abetting illegality?
INEC being a constitutionally created body must abide by the binding judgment of the competent court of law recognized by section 6 of the 1999 constitution which states thus: .”6. (1) The judicial powers of the Federation shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established for the Federation.
(2) The judicial powers of a State shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established, subject as provided by this Constitution, for a State.
(3) The courts to which this section relates, established by this Constitution for the Federation and for the States, specified in subsection (5) (a) to (1) of this section, shall be the only superior courts of record in Nigeria; and save as otherwise prescribed by the National Assembly or by the House of Assembly of a State, each court shall have all the powers of a superior court of record.
(4) Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this section shall be construed as precluding:-
(a) the National Assembly or any House of Assembly from establishing courts, other than those to which this section relates, with subordinate jurisdiction to that of a High Court;
(b) the National Assembly or any House of Assembly, which does not require it, from abolishing any court which it has power to establish or which it has brought into being.
(5) This section relates to:- (a) the Supreme Court of Nigeria; (b) the Court of Appeal; (c) the Federal High Court; (d) the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; (e) a High Court of a State”.
The saddest reality is, if Dave Umahi was in PDP and has lost his position to APC , INEC would have complied with the Judgment of the federal high court because for now there is no superior ruling suspending the enforcement of that judgment .
So INEC should immediately issue the certificate of return to the nominees sent by the PDP as directed by the court of law pending the determination of the appeal instituted by the former, Mr Dave Umahi challenging the federal high court ruling.
Recall that a Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, sacked Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, and his Deputy, Dr Eric Kelechi Igwe, over their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressive Congress.
The judgement, delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, held that the total number of 393,042 votes Umahi secured at the March 9, 2019 Ebonyi State governorship election belonged to the PDP, hence could not be legally transferred to the APC.
The court noted that both Umahi and Igwe’s defection to the APC, not only threw out the PDP, but also the votes that belonged to the party.
However, Umahi said the judgement which rendered him and his Deputy removed, on Tuesday, was purchased.
Umahi stated this during a press conference, in Abakaliki, on Tuesday.
He said, “I am still the Governor of Ebonyi State and there is no tension at all. In the first place, there is no constitutional provision for any hatchet man to remove a governor. There are three ways whereby a governor can vacate his office: it’s either by death, resignation and impeachment.
“There is no other constitutional provision that empowers a hatchet man to turn the Constitution upside down.
“We have heard the rumours before now that he was determined to give judgement against all known laws and the constitution, first to embarrass the APC, and to equally embarrass the federal government.”