Confusion As Sacked Ebonyi Governor, Umahi Storms Court, Withdraws Original Stay Of Execution Motion
Sacked Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State on Wednesday approached a Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja, to withdraw a stay of execution motion he filed due to a mistake in the application.
Chukwuma Ma-Chukwu Ume, SAN, counsel to Umahi and his Deputy, Kelechi Igwe, told Justice Inyang Ekwo at the mention of the suit.
When the case was called, Ume informed the court that he had withdrawn the earlier motion to replace it with a new one.
He said the development was because of a mistake in the earlier stay of execution motion, especially in the spelling of Umahi’s name.
The senior lawyer said though the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) served them with their counter affidavit yesterday (Tuesday), they sought to replace their motion with another due to the spelling error.
Counsel to the PDP, James Onoja, also informed the court of their intention to respond to the new motion on stay of execution filed by Umahi and Igwe.
Other parties, in addition, said they were yet to respond to the applicants’ motion.
Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter until March 21 to enable the respondents to file a counter to the application for stay.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ekwo had, on March 8, in a judgment, ordered Umahi, his Deputy, Kelechi Igwe, and 16 lawmakers to vacate their office and seats, following their defection from the PDP to All Progressives Congress (APC).
The judge also directed the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to immediately receive from the PDP, the names of its candidates to replace them.
On March 10, Governor Umahi and others sought an order of the FHC Abuja, staying the execution of its judgment directing them to vacate their offices over their defection to another political party.
In a motion on notice filed by their counsel, Ume, the applicants also prayed the court to stay the execution of its order directing INEC to receive another name in their place or hold a governorship election in accordance with Section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution.
Umahi and Igwe, in the motion on notice dated March 9, equally sought an order staying the execution of the order of the court directing INEC to immediately declare the persons nominated by the PDP as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi, respectively.
They further urged the court to stay the execution of its order restraining the INEC from recognizing or continuing to recognize them as governor and deputy governor of the state, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal dated and filed on March 9 by the appellants, among others.