By Uche Amunike
The immediate younger brother to Ebonyi State Governor, Mr Austin Umahi has rejected the appointment given to him by President Muhammadu Buhari to serve as Secretary, Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), saying that it was for job seekers or retired civil servants and not for someone at his level.
Austin Umahi, who was the former Vice Chairman of the PDP in the South East made this assertion in a social media group he belongs to in Ebonyi State, further stating that anyone interested in taking up the appointment, should reach out to his brother, David Umahi, as the position was still vacant as far as he was concerned.
Hear him: ‘Let me deeply appreciate each and every one of you that sent his or her congratulatory message and numerous calls for my appointment as the RMAFC Secretary. I am honestly humbled by this show of love, however, I regret to inform you that I declined the appointment because it is at best for job seekers or retired civil servants or better still anyone who loves the job and secondly, I am convinced that at my age and work experience it is not in doubt that I know what I want in life.’
‘Please if you are interested in the position, do not hesitate to approach our indefatigable governor to do the needful because as far as I am concerned, the position is still vacant. Thanks and God bless.’
Life and Times recalls that Austin Umahi emerged as the candidate representing Ebonyi South, during the All Progressives Congress, APC primary election held, May 28, but eventually stepped down from the race for his elder brother, David Umahi.
Umahi’s candidacy for that position was however rejected by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which made the governor sue INEC, through his lawyer, Roy Nweze Umahi, seeking an order of court to instruct INEC to name him as the senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South district, not minding that Ann Agom-Eze also applied to be joined in the suit. He reiterated that if David Umahi filed an appeal, he would most likely get a two years jail bounty.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki however agreed, May 22, that the electoral body was right in refusing to publish David Umahi’s name as a party candidate because the second primary which he won did not follow the stipulations of the Electoral Act and therefore, mandated that a fresh primary election to be held within 14 days.
In his judgement, Justice Fatun Riman cited Section 115 of the Electoral Act, which states that a candidate is not allowed to stand two different primary elections in the same year, further stating that the penalty for that was a two year jail term. He further stated that the recognized Senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South zone of the APC was Mrs Ann Agum-Eze, since Mr. Austin Umahi stepped out of the race.