David Umahi, Ebonyi State governor

The Ebonyi State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has decried what it called continued intimidation of judges in the state by Governor Dave Umahi, for their refusal to be used to instigate leadership crisis within the party in the state.

The party said at the present, the Ebonyi State High Court is witnessing a serious threat to its independence and smooth operation as a co-equal branch of government because of the political misadventure of one man.

The opposition party in a statement by Barr. Silas Joseph Onu, Publicity Secretary of its Ebonyi State Chapter, vowed to hold Umahi responsible if harm comes the way of any judge in the state.

The party noted that the State Judiciary “has been in the eye of the storm since the disgraced removed former Chairman of the PDP – Onyekachi Nwebonyi moved the Court with his infamous frivolous case challenging his lawful but disgraceful removal from office as a result of his ineptitude as a party man.”

According to the party, “since the Court began entertaining his frivolity, a record making number of judges have recused themselves from that case as it threatens to bring the reputation of the Court to shambles. The threat is not as a result of the nature of the said frivolous case, but because of the unrelenting interference from the government for the Court to reach a predetermined conclusion in their judgment – the judges were brave to have, like Pontius Pilate, washed their hands off such a political trial.”

Onu said the governor, with his brother, are doing everything possible to destroy the PDP in the state, having promised their overlords in the All Progressive Congress (APC) to do so.

“It is important to highlight here the fact that the Governor’s older brother, Roy Umahi who represents their agenda in Court, was quoted to have made denigrating remarks about the judges of the Ebonyi State High Court when he referred to them as persons who aren’t “bold”.

“It has come to the final stage of their agenda of bending the Judiciary into doing their bidding by organising a paid crowd to lay siege on the High Court. We are reliably informed and we verily believe that the siege is being sponsored by the State government against its own Judiciary because they have refused to be subservient to the whims and caprices of the Governor to destroy the PDP in Ebonyi State by throwing it into an unnecessary leadership crisis. This was the pledge the Governor made to his overlords in the APC,” statement said.

“Today, the Ebonyi State High Court is witnessing a serious threat to its independence and smooth operation as a co-equal branch of government because of the political misadventure of one man.

“We, the People’s Democratic Party, condemn in strong terms, the desperate action of those state agents being deployed to malign judges of the State High Court for being nothing but firm and principled in the discharge of their Judicial duty.

“We will hold Governor David Nweze Umahi and his brother Roy Umahi responsible for any harm that befall any judge in the State as a direct result of their acts of incitement and provocation against judges in the State. We know that their political busy body followers could act rashly to show their loyalty and be rewarded, as it has been the practice since 2015.

“We call on the judges not to be intimidated by this act of cheap blackmail and brazen abuse of power. Ebonyi State belongs to us all and no one or single family can colonise us – it will be resisted.

“We call on the Police and DSS to quickly step in and protect our judges from this acts of political harassment as judges aren’t members of any political party. They deserve state protection!”

Onu called on all Ebonyians are to remain vigilant and law abiding. “Do not go near the High Court to avoid being tagged “the protesters” let’s leave them to display their utter disregard for civility.”