On Thursday, March 10, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and his deputy, Eric Kelechi Igwe, have been ordered to remain in office by the Ebonyi State High Court, sitting in Abakaliki.
I was gathered that Umahi and Igwe had approached the court to obtain an order to remain in office until a judgment on their defection to the All Progressive Congress from the People’s Democratic Party is delivered by the Appeal Court.
Judge, Justice Henry Njoku in his judgment affirmed that “David Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State and his Deputy, Barr Eric Kelechi Igwe have secured an Order from the High Court of Ebonyi State asking them not to vacate their offices, that the judgment of the same court on 28th February 2022, on their defection to APC remains valid as a judgment in rem, which is binding on all parties, persons and authorities.”
The Judge relied on the Supreme Court judgment in the case of IGWEMMA & Anor Vs OBIDIGWE & ORS to say that the judgment was binding on the parties in the litigation and others, having anything to do with the status of the office of the Governor and the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State.
“It is hereby ordered as follows: An interim order of this honorable court for seven (7days) subject to renewal is hereby granted in view of its judgment in suit No. HAB/13/2022, being a judgment in rem and having precedence over any subsequent contrary judgment.
“The applicants, Engr. David Nweze Umahi and Dr. Eric Kelechi Igwe shall accordingly remain and not be removed from office as Governor and Deputy of Ebonyi State respectively,” the court order read.