Court Sacks Umahi, Deputy Over Defection To APC
A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the removal of David Umahi and Eric Kelechi Igwe, as governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi state, following their defection from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressive Congress (APC).
In the judgement delivered on Monday, Inyang Ekwo, the judge, held that the 393, 042 votes polled by Umahi during in March 9, 2019 governorship election belonged to the PDP and cannot be legally transferred to the APC.
Umahi left the PDP in November 2020 attributing the action to the “injustice” done to the south-east.
According to the court, having defected to the APC, both Umahi and his deputy, not only jettisoned 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, “belong to the Plaintiff and no other politcal party”.
The court stated;
There is no constitutional provision that made the ballot transferrable from one party to the other.
It held that the PDP is bound to retain the votes and mandate that was given to it by electorates in Ebonyi state, as both Governor Umahi and his Deputy could not validly transfer same to APC.
The court therefore ordered both Umahi and Igwe to immediately vacate their positions.
It ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately receive from the PDP, names of persons to replace Umahi and his Deputy, or in the alternative, conduct fresh gubernatorial election in Ebonyi state in line with section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The court further restraining both Umahi and Igwe from further parading themselves as governor or deputy governor of Ebonyi state.
The judgement followed a suit the PDP lodged before the court.