Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi and others have asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to postpone the implementation of its ruling ordering them to resign due to their defection to another political party.
According to reports, in a judgment issued on Tuesday, Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered Umahi, his deputy, Kelechi Igwe, and the 16 lawmakers to vacate their offices and seats following their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) (APC).
Justice Ekwo also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to obtain the names of the PDP’s replacement candidates as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, in a move on notice submitted on Thursday by their attorney, Chukwuma Ma-Chukwu Ume, SAN, the applicants sought that the case be dismissed.
They are further seeking 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 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, is predicated on eight grounds.
The grounds includes 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.
That the notice of appeal has been dully 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.
It is 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.
The lawyer said that the appeal by his clients raised substantial, recondite and arguable issues of law with reasonable chances of success.
He further argued that the rights of his clients would be highly jeopardised if the judgment of the court was allowed to be executed before their appeal is heard and determined.
Ume said one of the serious grounds of the appeal was the substantial issue of jurisdiction, which he stated, constitute exceptional circumstances in consideration to which the law permit the grant of stay of execution pending the hearing and determination of the applicants’ appeal.
Similarly, the 16 lawmakers of the Ebonyi House of Assembly who were ordered to vacate their seats had equally filed a motion of stay of execution of the judgment.
Counsel to the lawmakers, Ume, iin a motion on notice dated March 9, prayed the court for an order staying the execution of the judgment as it affects the lawmakers.
The lawmakers, he said, had equally filed an appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court.
The motion for the stay of execution of the judgment was also rooted on eight grounds and it sought an order of court restraining the PDP from submitting any names to the INEC for the purpose of declaring them as members of the Ebonyi House of Assembly in their replacement.
It said if already submitted and accepted, they sought an order of injunction restraining the INEC from using or putting same into effect until the determination of the appeal filed by them.
They also sought an order restraining the INEC from conducting elections to fill the vacancies created by their removal and or declaring the names of any candidate presented by the PDP as members of the Ebonyi House of Assembly pending the determination of the suit filed by them at the Court of Appeal.
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