A group of lawyers operating under the banner of Concerned Ebonyi Lawyers Forum has requested ex-Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim to retract what they described as “the libelous publication contained in his letter, offer a written apology to our Governor and the People of Ebonyi State and to give such retraction and apology the same publicity he gave to his defamatory letter within seven days from the date of this Communique or be prepared to face mass legal action.”
Issuing the order for retraction in a communique, the Concerned Ebonyi Lawyers Forum stated: “Conscious of the dividends that the prevailing peace and tranquility has brought to our dear State of Ebonyi; excited at the magical transformation of our dear State by the current administration led by our workaholic and visionary Governor, His Excellency Engr. David Nweze Umahi; conscious of the travails that our State had gone through in the past as a result of the now customized feud between Senator Anyim Pius Anyim with virtually every administration in our dear State; worried that the current vituperations and inciting comments coming from this same Senator Anyim Pius Anyim (who ordinarily should be a symbol of peace in our state) could lead to crisis with its attendant human rights violations in our State; conscious that as Social Engineers and conscience of the society, we as Lawyers ought not to fold our hands and watch our state slide into anomie; we, the Concerned Ebonyi Lawyers Forum rising from our meeting held on 4th day of December, 2020 hereby state as follows:
“1. That we commend his Excellency, Engr. David Nweze Umahi for his dogged commitment towards the transformation of infrastructure and standard of living in Ebonyi since his assumption of Office in 2015.
“2. That we have taken special note of the various measures put in place by the state government to ensure that Ebonyians live and go about their businesses unhindered and unmolested.
“3. That His Excellency, the Governor of our dear state just like any other Citizen of our state has the freedom of association including the right to join any political party of his choice as enshrined in Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“4. That the exercise of that right by our Governor does not warrant the calculated verbal attack and insults coming from Senator Anyim Pius Anyim in his now widely circulated infamous letter published on 30th November, 2020.
“5. That as Lawyers, we know that our Governor while he holds that Office, represents the face and image of our dear state and in particular, every one of us and as such, any insult, disrespect or defamation of his character remains a slap on all our faces.
“6. That as lawyers and colleagues, we are still in search of the impact which Senator Anyim Pius Anyim has made in our state even after holding the highest political position in the South East since the advent of the nascent democracy in Nigeria.
“7. That we view the open letter written and circulated in the media by Senator Anyim Pius Anyim as not only defamatory of our state as a whole but as a precursor to engendering crisis reminiscent of the type generated during His Excellency, Senator Dr. Sam Ominyi Egwu’s administration which led to unprecedented loss of lives and property in the state.
“8. That we request of Senator Anyim Pius Anyim to retract the libelous publication contained in his letter under reference, offer a written apology to our Governor and the people of Ebonyi State and to give such retraction and apology the same publicity he gave to his defamatory letter within seven days from the date of this Communique or be prepared to face mass legal action.
“9. That we cannot allow anybody no matter how highly placed to truncate the peace and accelerated progress which we are currently enjoying in our state.
“10. That we remain committed to enduring peace, rule of law, inviolability of human rights and a free society anchored on mutual co-existence.”