By John Ikani
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, sacked Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and his Deputy, Dr Eric Kelechi Igwe, following their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC.
The judgement, delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, held that the total number of 393,042 votes Umahi secured at the 9th March 2019 Ebonyi State governorship election, belonged to the PDP, hence could not be legally transferred to the APC.
Recall that the governor and his deputy defected from the PDP on whose platform they were elected into office in the 2015 and 2019 general elections to the APC.
Determined to reclaim its mandate, the PDP sued the Umahi, Igwe, the APC and INEC.
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 therefore ordered both Umahi and Igwe to immediately vacate their positions adding that their defection was illegal, null and unconstitutional.
Citing section 221 of the constitution, Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered the PDP immediately send names of replacements to INEC so that fresh elections can be conducted.
Justice Ekwo also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cease from recognising Umahi and Igwe as the governor and deputy governor of the Ebonyi State.