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Umahi’s apology will be relayed to judge who ordered his sack, says NBA

Umahi’s apology will be relayed to judge who ordered his sack, says NBA
March 10
13:53 2022

Olumide Akpata, president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), says David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi, has done the right thing by apologising for his outburst over a court judgement sacking him.

On Tuesday, a federal high court in Abuja ordered the removal of Umahi and Eric Igwe as governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi, respectively.

Responding to the court verdict, Umahi had said nobody could remove him from office and described the judge as a “hatchet man”.

The NBA had, in turn, criticised Umahi’s comment, describing it as “executive rascality taken too far”, and had demanded an apology from the governor.

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In an update on Thursday, Akpata said Umahi has tendered his apologies and asked his camp to refrain from denigrating the judiciary.

Akpata said he would convey Umahi’s apology to Justice Inyang Ekwo and Ibrahim Muhammad, chief justice of Nigeria, and urge them to accept the governor’s expression of regrets.

“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,” Akpata said.

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“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 & the rule of law is 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 while urging his people 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 however reiterate that there is a well-established procedure by law for challenging unfavourable decisions of courts of competent jurisdiction and the Nigerian Bar Association 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.”

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Akpata added that the NBA would allow the appeal process to take its course while it takes the back seat.

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