Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has described as a true reflection of the spirit of the constitution, the Appeal Court judgement which absolved Gov. Dave Umahi and his Deputy of any transgression against the extant laws of the country in dumping the PDP and pitching tent with the All Progressives Congress.
The Appellate Court affirming the ruling of the Court below that Gov. Umahi and Kelechi Igwe cannot vacate their offices as Governor and Deputy respectively on the ground of defection from one party to another, dismissed the suit for being inconsistent with the Nigerian constitution, noting that it is strange and unknown in any law where a serving Governor and his deputy vacated office on the said premise. The Court cited the case of Atiku Abubakar v Ag. Federation as very instructive on the matter.
In a statement made available to media houses, Chief Eze commended the Court for clearly emphasizing that the law does not confer on the judiciary the power to remove a Governor and his deputy from office safe and except the procedures listed under sections 180, 188 and 189 of the Nigerian Constitution (1999) as amended.
Eze said the judgement of the Enugu Division of the Court of Appeal though offers a very compelling advice to other courts of coordinate jurisdiction with regards to matters of similar nature; it is a profound example of the expected outcome of Gov. Umahi’s appeal lodged against his erroneous ouster by a High Court Judge.
Emphasizing that the judgement is a clear victory for democracy and the good people of Ebonyi who voluntarily entrusted their mandate to Gov. Umahi, the party Chief said the verdict has laid to rest all speculations and uncertainties surrounding the controversy of the status of Umahi and his Deputy on grounds of their defection to the APC, assuring that the appeal against his ouster will also produce similar outcome as the law is clear on the subject.
Eze called on the judiciary to continue to uphold the tenets of fairness in justice delivery stressing that the hopes of the ordinary Nigerians still anchor on the judiciary which he said is the censor and guardian of public manners.
He expressed disappointment on the current leadership of PDP for recklessly debasing the party and turning it into a mockery of what her founding fathers and foundation members envisaged.
“Imagine a situation where the party leadership sent names of some funny people who never participated either in the Primaries of the party or campaigned to be Governor as nominees to INEC for appointment into the office of Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State without recourse to the provisions of the Constitution and Electoral Act for the procedures and possible how qualifications for the exalted office of Governor.”
Eze in this regard, counsels the party leadership to apologies to Nigerians particularly members of the PDP for the show of shame and disappointing aftermath of their futile attempt to embarrass Engr. Dave Nweze Umahi, the Executive Governor of Ebonyi State Umahi based on their lack of knowledge on the constitutionally recognized procedures for the removal of a Governor from office.
On how Governor Umahi managed to survive the unwarranted onslaught against him and the people of Ebonyi State, Eze revealed that the election of David Nweze Umahi was a divine arrangement. He said it was the fulfillment of prophesy foretold immediately the State was created. According to him, a group of Pastors and Ministers that went round the Local Government Headquarters of the State to handover the newly created State to God foresaw Umahi’’s emergence. At the end of their exercise, a prophesy came that a period will come when God will send a David that will turn Ebonyi from the dusty State it was to a State where visitors may not locate their bearings because of the monumental and unprecedented infrastructural revolution that will occur in the State. As it is, Eze said Engr. Umahi who is termed as the DAVID of Ebonyi State has fulfilled that prophesy so it is an unrealistic task to remove such a leader who has a divine mandate to govern the State.
Eze appealed to Gov. Umahi to remain unscathed by the scandalous High Court Judgement which is sure to be upturned, as he continues to offer quality services to the Ebonyi state and her people whose support and loyalty he has continued to enjoy.