Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has hit back at his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, over claims that he and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were behind the court case that led to his (Umahi’s) removal. Umahi also challenged the Rivers state Governor, discussing him of helping himself with “public Funds”.
Umahi made the remarks shortly after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on March 23, 2022.
Recall that Umahi was sacked by a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, for defecting from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to Justice Inyang Ekwo’s decision, Umahi’s votes for governor in 2019 belonged to the PDP, not to him as a candidate.
The court also fired the Deputy Governor, Dr Eric Kelechi Igwe, as well as all state lawmakers who defected with them.
In response to the news, Wike boasted in a video that he and the PDP were the architects of Umahi’s dismissal, arguing that it’s wrong for his colleague to join another party while still holding the PDP’s mandate.
During his press conference following his meeting with Buhari, Umahi, who expressed his dissatisfaction with the court decision, argued that the Constitution guarantees that a sitting governor cannot be sued, making his sacking unconstitutional.
He also cited a Supreme Court decision that stated “votes cast in an election belong to the candidate,” claiming that “that’s why you have qualifications of a candidate and not qualifications of a political party.”
The Ebonyi Governor then chastised Wike for boasting about his misfortunes, referring to him as a “hatchet man.”
He also accused his Rivers colleague of using the state funds to show off while challenging him to a public debate.
“In the first place, there’s no constitutional position that says that a governor can be sued, so I’m not suable but a court judgement is a court judgement, I’m not to interpret it. But I can speak to the constitution we swore to uphold, and the constitution says that once you’re elected, you enjoy immunity.
“So, the hatchet man that boasted is likened to Judas Iscariot. What qualifies you, just because you’re packing money that is public fund, not intellectual material but just packing money from public fund and you’re boasting about it.”
“Otherwise, whom were you, I became a billionaire at the age of 25, I’ve worked all my life and I have asked him to come for public debate. I don’t commission a 3.4km road, I commissioned 35km road, I commissioned twin flyovers running to 1km.
I commissioned mega projects with little resources, so if he says he has done well, and he’s mister this or that, let him come for public debate.”