Governor David Umahi and his deputy, Kelechi Igwe, have approached the Federal High Court seeking an order staying the execution of its judgment directing them to vacate their offices as governor and deputy of Ebonyi State respectively.
In a motion filed by their counsel, Chukwuma MaChukwu- Ume (SAN), the governor and his deputy prayed the Justice Inyanag Ekwo-led court for an order staying the execution of the orders made in the judgment delivered on March 8, 2022, directing the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to immediately receive from the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), the names of its candidates to replace them. The court had sacked their from office on grounds that they defected from the PDP to the APC and therefore losts the votes that brought them into office.
The governor and his deputy in a motion filed prayed the court to stay the execution of its order directing INEC to hold a governorship election in accordance with section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution.
In addition, the motion on notice dated March 9, 2022, is equally seeking an order staying the execution of the order of the court directing INEC to immediately declare the persons nominated by the PDP as governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi State respectively.
They further urged the court to stay the execution of its order restraining INEC from recognizing or continuing to recognize them as governor and deputy governor of the state.
The governor and his deputy also asked for an order to stay the execution of an order restraining them from parading themselves as governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi State respectively pending the hearing and determination of the appeal dated and filed on March 9, 2022, by the appellants.
They also asked the court to issue an order restraining the PDP from submitting any names to the INEC for the purpose of declaring them as governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi State in replacement of the applicants and if already submitted and accepted, an order of injunction restraining the INEC from using or putting same into effect until the determination of the appeal filed by the applicants.
They further sought an order restraining the INEC from conducting elections into their offices and or declaring the names of any candidate presented by the PDP as the governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi State pending the determination of the appeal filed by them.
The motion, which was brought pursuant to order 26 rules 1 and 2(1) and order 32 rules 1 and 4(1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019, was predicated on eight grounds.
The grounds include the fact that the applicants who are dissatisfied with the judgment of the court have appealed the said judgment to the Court of Appeal by filling their notice of appeal dated March 9, 2022, That the notice of appeal has been duly served on all the parties and the court, That they have also commenced the process for the compilation and transmission of the records of the appeal in the Appeal Court.
It is also their prayer that unless execution of the judgment of the court is stayed, the outcome of the appeal filed by them will be rendered nugatory.