Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi on Wednesday made a u-turn, reversing his uncomplimentary statements made against a judge of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Justice Inyang Ekwo and tendered an apology to the Nigeria Barr Association (NBA).
Umahi apologised while addressing over two thousand members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State at a solidarity rally that took place at the Udensi Roundabout, staged to declare their support and loyalty to the Governor.
In reacting to the judgment which sacked him and his deputy, Governor Umahi said the judgment was purchased, adding that he was not surprised that the Judge delivered the judgment in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as “Ekwo was charged and needed to discharge.”
Umahi had also told journalists that Justice Ekwo was on a mission to embarrass the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the federal government, saying, “I feel sorry for the Nigerian judiciary.
“We had heard the rumours before now that he was determined to give judgment against all known laws and the Constitution, first to embarrass the APC, and to equally embarrass the federal government.
“For me, I do not feel worried; but, I feel so bad for the judiciary in Nigeria. The executive may have problems; the legislature may have problems, but the moment justice could be purchased, then we are in trouble in Nigeria.
“It’s obvious that the ruling this afternoon is a clear evidence that this country is trouble. And let me tell you, this same judge, has over ten cases against the Ebonyi State Government with him. And you can imagine what he is going to rule.
“We have petitioned him to NJC and we will follow it up to the end to ensure that this man (Ekwo) is brought to justice. I want you to disregard the judgment, because it’s null and void.”
But while addressing his APC supporters on Wednesday, Umahi said that he has mobilized over 17 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to appeal the judgement of the Federal High court sitting in Abuja led by Justice Ekwo, wherein he was sacked for defecting from the opposition party, PDP to the ruling APC.
Umahi said he has no regrets in defecting to the ruling APC and threatened to engage in battle with the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Ebonyi State, especially for trying to distract his administration.
“I’m still the Governor of Ebonyi State and I’m still working. I said the lawyers of PDP are the ones doing forum shopping and I’m going to write against the lawyers to NBA to discipline them because the judge was misled. The blame was not on the judge. The blame is on the PDP lawyers who misled the judge.
“And I’m using the opportunity to let Nigerians know that nobody castigated the judge and we will not and because the matter was not before any judge.
“Today, we have appealed the judgement. We have done three things; we have done the appeal at Enugu, and when I say that, we have two judgements, I say that the judgement in Ebonyi state, which has equal powers with that of Abuja. We said we will obey the judgement in Ebonyi State. We will appeal the judgement of Abuja. We didn’t say we will disobey otherwise we would have not appealed.
“We are before the Appeal of Enugu state and that of Abuja. We have also filed a stay of execution. So, we are still the Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State” he stated.