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Rt. Hon. Iduma Igariwey Enwo, the choice candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to replace Gov. Dave Umahi has adviced the governor to vacate office stressing that he is the legitimate governor of the state.

Umahi was on the 8th of March, 2022, sacked by a Federal High in Abuja for defecting from the PDP to the All Progressive Congress, APC.

Umahi and his Deputy alongside other other lawmakers were ordered to vacate office in a Judgement by Justice Inyang Ekwo.

In a press conference on Thursday, Igariwey, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to comply expeditiously with all the consequential orders of the court, particularly, by declaring the names submitted by the PDP as Governor and Deputy Governor.

Hon. Igariwey said; “While we acknowledge that INEC is in receipt of the communication from the National Chairman of the PDP, we call on INEC as a critical pillar of our constitutional democracy, to comply expeditiously with all the consequential orders of the court, particularly, by declaring the names submitted by the PDP as Governor and Deputy Governor. This, the INEC is expected to do, by issuing Certificates of Return.

“From the clear and unambiguous order made by Justice Inyang Ekwo, it is an incontrovertible fact that Governor Umahi ceased to be Governor of Ebonyi State on the 8th day of March 2022. Two days after this judgment, Mr Umahi and his deputy still parade themselves as if they still occupy those offices. This is, to say the very least, contemptuous of the clear orders of a court of competent jurisdiction. We recognise the fact that former Governor David Umahi has a right of appeal. However, until the entire appeal process is exhausted, and in the absence of any order staying the operation of Justice Ekwo’s Judgment, Mr Umahi remains sacked, a former Governor, who should desist from any conduct that threatens the peace of Ebonyi State, or diminishes over constitutional democracy,” he added.

Igariwey stressed that he is the authentic governor of the state effective March 8th, 2022.

“In the eye of the law, therefore, I, Rt Hon. Iduma Enwo Igariwey and Chief Fred Udogu, are the recognised Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, respectively, effective the 8th day of March 2022”.

He further recalled the many woes of Umahi and his hatred for the press and Judiciary.

“Have Nigerians suddenly forgotten Umahi’s many battles with the press in Ebonyi State? Just about a year ago, Umahi “banished for life from Ebonyi Government House”, a number of journalists – Peter Okutu, Chijoke Agwu and others – for writing stories he did not like. In 2021, Umahi sent thugs to attack a sitting court in Abakaliki and chase away other judges from their court rooms, for delivering judgment he considered not favourable. It stands to reason that geographical distance is probably what is saving Justice Ekwo from Umahi’s physical assault and harm. This is unacceptable and disgraceful, to say the very least”.

Igariwey also accused the governor of sponsoring protesters from rural areas to demonstrate against the high court judgment in the state capital.

He urged Ebonyi people to remain calm and peaceful, and go about their normal livelihoods, while encouraging civil servants to remain vigilant.

He also called on  Security Agencies, the Police, DSS and NSCDC to secure the state by protecting lives and property of Ebonyi people.

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