Court Fixes Date For Judgment In Suit Seeking Removal Of Ebonyi Governor, Umahi, Over Defection From PDP

The Federal High Court has fixed March 8 for judgment in a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party seeking the removal of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi from office.

Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the dates after counsel in the suits marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 920/21 and FHC/ABJ/CS/ 1041/21 had adopted their briefs of final arguments for and against the suit.

Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi

In an originating summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/920/2021, the PDP had principally urged 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 to the APC, a political party that did not win the election, they had resigned or are deemed to have resigned from office.

The plaintiff stated that “by so doing, the defendants are deemed to have lost the majority votes scored at the election and consequently should be ordered by the court to vacate their respective offices like governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi State”.

The Independent National Electoral Commission and APC are other defendants in the suit.

However, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, a former Attorney-General of Imo, counsel to the governor and his deputy, had urged the court to decline jurisdiction and transfer the case to Ebonyi.

Ume particularly drew the court’s attention to the fact that Nigeria was a federation with 36 states including Ebonyi.

He argued that since Umahi was sworn in by the Chief Judge of Ebonyi and not by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, his removal from office can only be pursued through the Ebonyi House of Assembly and the state’s high court.

At the trial court, the two respondents had filed a notice of preliminary objection challenging the suit by the PDP, wherein, they argued vehemently that Section 308 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended has provided immunity to them from the plaintiff’s suit and that votes cast during the said elections are by the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and recent Supreme Court pronouncements belong to them and not the plaintiff/respondent.

Umahi and his deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe, had in 2021 joined the ruling APC.

Legal Politics News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

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