Court sacks Umahi, deputy over defection to APC

Dave Umahi Ebonyi State Governor
Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday ordered the removal of Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi and his deputy Eric Igwe following their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ruling on a suit filed by the PDP, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that the total number of 393, 042 votes Umahi secured during the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Ebonyi, belonged to the PDP and the same could not be legally transferred to the APC.

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.

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

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

It also 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 a fresh governorship election in Ebonyi in line with section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

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