Governor David Umahi has said that Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, lacked the powers to sack him as the governor of Ebonyi State.
Umahi was reacting to a judgment by Justice Inyang Ekwo on Tuesday which sacked him and his deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, from their offices for defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which sponsored their elections, to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Umahi further disclosed that Justice Ekwo has been petitioned to the National Judicial Council (NJC), adding, “We will follow it up at all cost to ensure that this man is brought to justice.”
Umahi said: “There is nothing to worry 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 seat: either by death, resignation or impeachment by the House of Assembly. There is no other constitutional provision that empowers a hatchet man to turn the constitution and the law upside down.
“I have listened to the judgment of Ekwo and it is very obvious that he was on a mission, he was making all effort to upturn the rulings of the Supreme Court and the Appeal Court on the issues like this.
“We have heard the rumours before now that he was determined to give judgment against all known laws and the constitution. First to embarrass APC, two, to embarrass the Federal Government.
“For me, I do not feel worried, but I feel so sorry for the judiciary. The executive may have problems, the legislature may have problems, but the moment justice could be purchased, then, we are in trouble in this country, and the ruling this afternoon is a clear evidence that this country is in trouble.
“Let me tell you that this same judge has over 10 cases against Ebonyi State government with him and you can imagine what he is going to rule. We have petitioned him before NJC and we will follow it up at all cost to ensure that this man is brought to justice.
“I want you to disregard the judgment, it is null and void. There is a subsisting judgment in Zamfara State and there is also a judgment in Ebonyi State. So, we have chosen the one to obey, we will not obey his ruling. We will obey the ruling of a competent court of equal level that says you cannot sue a governor.
“The sections of the constitutions are very clear, no criminal or civil proceedings could be brought against a sitting governor. This is not a pre-election matter, this is not a tribunal matter and so, he has murdered justice in this country and he will be remembered and his generation for this jungle justice which has no leg to stand. I am still the governor of Ebonyi State and he has no powers to remove me”, he said.
Umahi, however, said he was going to appeal the judgment.