By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has declared that he remains the governor of the state, following the judgement of a Federal High Court in Abuja that sacked him, his deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe, and 16 members of the House Of Assembly from office.
Speaking during a press conference, in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, on Tuesday, Umahi alleged that the judgement of Justice Inyang Ekwo, which sacked them from their respective offices was purchased.
The governor said he was not surprised that the judge delivered the judgement in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), adding: “Ekwo was charged and needed to discharge.”
According to him, Justice Ekwo was on a mission to embarrass the All Progressives Congress(APC) and the Federal Government, saying: “I feel sorry for the Nigerian judiciary.”
Umahi added that he will appeal the judgement.
“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 is either by death, resignation and impeachment. There is no other constitutional provision that empowers a hatchet man to turn the Constitution upside down.
“I have listened to the judgement of Inyang Ekwo and it’s very obvious that he was on a mission. He was making all effort to upturn the rulings of the Appeal and Supreme Courts, on issues like this.
“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.
“For me, I do not feel worried; but, I feel so bad for the judiciary in Nigeria. The executives may have problems; the legislature may have problems; but the moment justice could be purchased, then we are in trouble in Nigeria.
“It’s obvious that the ruling this afternoon is clear evidence that this country is in trouble. And let me tell you, this same judge, has over 10 cases against the Ebonyi State Government with hi and you can imagine what he is going to rule.
“We have petitioned him to NJC and we will follow it up to the end to ensure that this man (Ekwo) is brought to justice. I want you to disregard the judgement because it’s null and void,” the governor said.