The President of Nigerian Bar Association(NBA) on Thursday accepted the apology tendered by the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi after the latter made disparaging remarks about a Federal High Court Judge on Tuesday.
In a swift response after the Umahi’s unsavory comments, the NBA had demanded an immediate apology from the him.
On his Facebook page, the NBA President, confirmed that Umahi has made this apology, including one expressed at a party rally.
Akpata said the NBA will forward the apology to Justice Ekwo and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko.
“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 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,” Akpata stated.
“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,” Mr Akpata said.
The Governor’s apology
The blame is not on the judge. The blame is on the PDP lawyers who misled the judge.
I have no regrets leaving PDP. The judgment sacking me as your governor will not stand at appeal and I remain the governor as I’m still working.
“I said the lawyers of the PDP are the ones doing forum shopping and I’m going to report the lawyers to NBA to discipline them because the judge was misled.
“And I’m using the opportunity to appeal for calm and to let Nigerians know that nobody castigated the judge and we will not.
Today, we have appealed the judgement. We didn’t say we will disobey, otherwise, we would have not appealed. We are before the appeal court in Enugu state and that of Abuja.
“We have also filed a stay of execution. So, we are still the governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi.
The Governor also noted that he has mobilized over seventeen (17) SANs to Appeal the judgment of the Federal High court sitting in Abuja led by Justice Inyang Ekwo, wherein he was sacked for defecting from the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) to the APC