Appeal Court dismisses suit seeking Umahi’s sack

Dave Umahi Ebonyi State Governor
Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State

The Court of Appeal in Enugu has dismissed a suit seeking the sack of Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi and his deputy Kelechi Igwe for defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Umahi and his deputy joined the APC from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in November 2020.

Following their defection, the candidate of the APC in the 2019 governorship election, Senator Sonni Ogbuoji and his running mate, Justin Mbam, approached an Ebonyi High Court, seeking the sack of the governor and his deputy.

The plaintiffs also prayed the court to give an order for them to be inaugurated as governor and deputy, having emerged second in the said election.

The duo’s appeal followed a ruling by the State High Court on February 28. The court had struck out the suit and awarded N500, 000 as damages against the plaintiffs.

However, ruling on Friday, the appellate court agreed with the lower court’s ruling on the matter.

In a unanimous judgement read by Justice Alfa Belgore, the appeal court dismissed the suit for being inconsistent with the constitution and extant laws of the country.

The Ebonyi State High Court ruling on February 28 is separate from that given by the Federal High Court in Abuja which sacked Umahi and Igwe for defecting to the APC.