Court strikes out Umahi, deputy’s bid to stay execution of sack from office

Anthony Iwuoma

The Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, on Monday, rejected an application by the Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and his deputy, Kelechi Igwe, seeking to stop the execution of the judgement of the court that removed them from office over their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, turned down the request, as it was confirmed that a valid appeal had been filed against the earlier judgement at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division.

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The attention of the court was drawn to the substantive appeal already pending at the Court of Appeal after arguments by Chukwuma Machukwu Umeh SAN, counsel to the governor and his deputy and Chief James Ogwu Onoja SAN, the PDP counsel.

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Umeh applied for withdrawal of the application in order to devote time to the substantive appeal, a request that was not opposed by Onoja.

The request was not opposed by the PDP counsel prompting Justice Ekwo in a brief ruling to strike out the suit.

Consequently, Justice Ekwo ordered the governor and his deputy to shift their legal battle against the judgment that sacked them to the superior court.

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Following the ruling of the Federal High Court, ordering their removal from office as governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi State, respectively Umahi and his deputy had two weeks ago, filed for stay of execution of the judgment.

The duo had prayed the court for an order staying the execution of the orders made in the judgment delivered on March 8, 2022, directing the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to immediately receive from PDP the names of its candidates to replace them.


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