An Ebonyi State High Court, sitting in Abakaliki, on Thursday, ordered Governor David Umahi and his Deputy, Eric Kelechi Igwe to remain in office.
Umahi and his Deputy had approached the court to obtain an order to remain in office until the Appeal Court delivers its judgement concerning his defection from the PDP to the APC.
The trial Judge, Justice Henry Njoku 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 judgement of the same court on 28th February, 2022, on their defection to APC remains valid as a judgement in rem, which is binding on all parties, persons and authorities.”
The Judge relied on the Supreme Court judgement in the case of IGWEMMA & Anor Vs OBIDIGWE & ORS to say that the judgement 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.
The order of court reads in part: “it is hereby ordered as follows: An interim order of this honourable court for seven (7days) subject to renewal is hereby granted in view of its judgement in suit No. HAB/13/2022, being a judgement in rem and having precedence over any subsequent contrary judgement.
“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.”