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HomeTop NewsAbuja Federal Court sacks Ebonyi Governor, his deputy over defection to APC

Abuja Federal Court sacks Ebonyi Governor, his deputy over defection to APC

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Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi, and his Deputy, Eric Kelechi Igwe have been asked to vacate their positions and stop parading themselves as Governor and deputy governors respectively by a Federal High Court in Abuja over their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).

In a judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, the judge held that the total number of 393,042 votes Umahi secured at the March 9, 2019 Ebonyi State governorship election, belonged to the main opposition PDP, hence could not be legally transferred to the APC.

The court noted that both Umahi and his deputy’s defection to the APC, not only threw out the PDP, but also the votes that belonged to it.

It held that going by the outcome of the governorship election, the office of the governor and deputy governor in Ebonyi state, “belongs to the plaintiff and no other political party.”

“There is no constitutional provision that made the ballot transferrable from one party to the other,” Ekwo held.

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The judge held that the PDP is bound to retain the votes and mandate that was given to it by the electorate in Ebonyi state, as both the governor and his deputy cannot validly transfer the same to the APC.

The court ordered Umahi and Igwe to immediately vacate their positions.

Ekwo ordered INEC to immediately receive from the PDP, names of persons to replace Umahi and his deputy, or in the alternative, conduct a fresh gubernatorial election in Ebonyi state in line with section 177 (c) of the 1999 constitution, as amended.

The court restrained Umahi and Igwe from further parading themselves as governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi state.

Umahi left the PDP in November 2020 attributing the action to the “injustice” done to the south-east.

Consequently, the PDP instituted a suit against the governor, his deputy, the APC and INEC.

The PDP asked the court to make a declaration that by defecting from the party on which they were sponsored and elected as governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi state, they have resigned or deemed to have resigned from office.

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