Governor Umahi And His Deputy Have Been Fired By The Court For Defecting To The APC.
Following their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja today sacked Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and his Deputy, Dr. Eric Kelechi Igwe.
The judge ruled that Governor Umahi’s total of 393, 042 votes cast in the Ebonyi State governorship election on March 9, 2019, belonged to the PDP and could not be legitimately transferred to the APC.
According to the court, when Umahi and his deputy switched to the APC, they not only abandoned the PDP, but also the votes that belonged to it. The court ruled that, going by the outcome of the governorship election, the offices of the governor and deputy governor in Ebonyi state, “belong to the Plaintiff and no other political party”.
“There is no constitutional provision thatmakese the ballot transferrable from one party to the other”.
The court ruled that the PDP is obligated to keep the votes and mandate given to it by Ebonyi voters since governor Umahi and his deputy were unable to lawfully transfer them to the APC.
The court, therefore, ordered that both Umahi and Igwe vacate their positions immediately and that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, receive names of persons to replace Umahi and his Deputy from the PDP, or, in the alternative, hold a fresh gubernatorial election in Ebonyi in accordance with section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The court also barred Umahi and Igwe from claiming to be the governor or deputy governor of Ebonyi state in the future.
The ruling came after the PDP filed a lawsuit in court.