The Peoples Democratic Party has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to immediately issue Certificates of Return to its nominees, Iduma Igariwe and Fred Udogwu as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively.
The main opposition made this call on Monday hours after the Federal High Court in Abuja issued an order refusing to grant a Stay of Execution to the embattled Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, and his Deputy, Kelechi Igwe over their removal from office by the Court.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, disclosed this in a statement he signed on Monday titled ‘Ebonyi: issue certificates of return to Igariwe, Udogwu now, PDP charges INEC.’
According to the statement, “INEC, pursuant to the provision of Section 287(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) which provides that ‘the decisions of the Federal High Court, National Industrial Court, a High Court and of all other courts established by this Constitution shall be enforced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons, and by other courts of law with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Federal High Court, National Industrial Court, a High Court, and those other courts, respectively’ is bound to issue Certificates of Return immediately to Iduma Igariwe and Fred Udogwu as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively.
“In this regard, the PDP also demands that the Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, upon the issuance of Certificates of Return by INEC proceed to swear in Iduma Igariwe and Fred Udogwu as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively.”
The main opposition said this is necessary to prevent the existence of vacuum in the government and governance of Ebonyi State as Umahi and Igwe can no longer exercise the functions of the office of Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State in accordance to the Order of the Federal High Court which removed them from office on March 8, 2022 and the subsequent Order of the Federal High Court today, which refused their application for Stay of Execution.
It commended the judiciary for its courage in defending the Constitution as well as the will of the people of Ebonyi State as expressed in their votes for the PDP in the 2019 governorship election.
“Our Party also congratulates the people of Ebonyi State for the restoration of their mandate and urges them to remain united under the PDP as we forge ahead in our mission to Rescue and Rebuild our country from the APC administration,” the PDP added.