Ebonyi State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to comply with verdict of Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja and issue a certificate of return to Enwo Iduma Ighariwey and Chief Fred Udogu as Governor and Deputy Governor of the state.
Justice Ekwo had sacked Governor Dave Umahi and the Deputy Governor, Kelechi Igwe, last Tuesday, for defecting from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and asked the INEC to conduct fresh election or accept PDP’s nomination for their replacement.
PDP had immediately nominated Ighariwey and Udogu as replacements for Umahi and Igwe.
The court also removed the 16 members of the state House of Assembly, including the Speaker from office for defecting to the APC.
Speaking on INEC’s delay in issuing certificates of return to the party’s nominees at a media briefing in Enugu, yesterday, Ebonyi State chairman of PDP, Tochukwu Okorie, said the party had fulfilled all requirements for its nominees to be issued their certificates.
Okorie said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the national leadership of our party has complied with the court ruling by submitting Ighariwey and Udogu’s names to INEC, as replacement for Umahi and Igwe.
“We have also ensured that the judgment and other records of the court were transmitted to INEC. What is standing, therefore, between the inauguration of the new administration of the Governor and Deputy Governor designate is for 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.”
He claimed that although Umahi had appealed the court verdict: “He has neither been granted any stay of execution nor successfully appealed the judgment. He just applied for stay of execution and filed 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.”
MEANWHILE, the Ebonyi State chapter of APC, yesterday, carpeted Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, over what it described as his reckless comments against Umahi and Igwe over their recent sack by an Abuja Federal High Court.
In a statement issued in Abakaliki by the State Chairman of the party, Hon. Stanley Emegha, the party said after listening to Wike’s tirades against Umahi and his deputy, it noted that the Rivers State governor had achieved nothing other than violence, turbulence and destruction of people’s property.
“The attention of the Ebonyi State chapter of APC has been drawn to the outburst of Wike, who was reacting to an unjust and widely condemnable Federal High Court ruling, which sacked Umahi and Igwe,” the statement reads.