Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Olumide Akpata has said that Dave Umahi has apologised over his verbal attack against a Federal High Court (FHC) who sacked him as Governor of Ebonyi state.
Recall that Justice Ekwo on Tuesday March 8, ordered Umahi and his deputy Eric Igwe to vacate office and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to receive the names of candidates from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to replace the duo.
Shortly after the judgement was delivered, Umahi launched a scathing attack, refusing to quit and also claiming that the court lacked the power to remove him from office. He also claimed that the judgement was bought and accused Justice Ekwo of doing a “hatchet job”.
Barely 24 hours after Akpata called him out over his utterances after being sacked, the NBA President has announced that the sacked Ebonyi state Governor has apologized and this would in turn be transmitted to Justice Inyang Ekwo.
Akpata said in a statement;
“On 9th March 2022, I issued a statement unequivocally condemning the reaction of H.E. Engr. Dave Umahi, the Governor of Ebonyi State to the judgment of the FHC Abuja which ordered him and his Deputy to vacate office. I also demanded an apology and a retraction of the comments.
“Following that statement, H.E. Engr. Umahi made extensive efforts to reach me and in the course of our conversation, I reiterated that the NBA has no interest in the case other than to ensure that the sanctity of the judicial system is protected and the rule of law respected.
“In line with our demands, H.E. Engr. Umahi addressed a cross section of Ebonyi State citizens, where he unreservedly apologised for his comments, clarified his intentions and very importantly too, called for calm from his supporters while urging them to refrain from denigrating the Judiciary.
“I will immediately transmit this apology to His Lordship, Hon. Justice Inyang Ekwo and My Lord the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria, who is the head of the Judiciary in Nigeria, and urge them to also accept same.
“I must restate for the sake of emphasis that there is a well established procedure for challenging unfavourable decisions of courts of competent jurisdiction and the NBA under my administration will continue to fulfil its mandate by rising to the defence of the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, and the sanctity of court orders.
“Now that the right thing has been done and the appeal process has been activated, we shall resume our backseat and allow the process take its course.
“As far as the NBA is concerned, this brings an end to this unfortunate episode but we hope that important lessons have been learnt.”