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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Opinion ED: Court sacks Ebonyi State Governor, Gov Umahi

The PDP party determined to reclaim its mandate in Ebonyi State had earlier on sued Umahi and its deputy in a suit, it had also sued 15 lawmakers who were elected on the PDP platform and had defected to APC in another suit. 

The court had ruled in the party’s Favor when Umahi was on Tuesday sacked by a court for defecting from PDP to APC while still in office. The Federal High Court presided by Justice Inyang Ekwo, also sacked Umahi’s deputy, Kelechi Igwe and the 15 other lawmakers. 

The APC and INEC were also joined as defendants in the two suits. 

Judge Inyang Ekwo declared the seats of the governor, his deputy, including the 15 lawmakers, vacant in his judgement.  

The judge also ordered that the respective politician should vacant their offices immediately. He went on to implore INEC to receive names of candidates from the PDP to replace David Umahi and IGWE. 

“The votes in any election in Nigeria are to Political parties, and not candidates” the judge declared. 

“It would be constitutionally wrong for a person who was not sponsored by one political party, to defect and become a member of another political party before the expiration of the period he was elected,” the judge held. 

The court noted that the “constitution does not treat the issue of defection lightly,” referencing Section 221 of the 1999 constitution. 

Umahi who didn’t take the ruling lightly described the judgement of Justice Inyang Ekwo as a sham. He accused him of doing a hatchet job. He also said that he remains the governor of the state and will not vacate office for anyone.  

David Umahi urged the people of the State to remain calm, claiming he was sure of quashing the ruling at the Appeal Court. He noted that the court lacks the powers to remove him as Governor as he is covered by immunity. The immunity clause which he claims protects him from any form of litigation that is not a pre-election or tribunal matter. 

Umahi: Politics in Play

Umahi who had recently declared his ambition to run for the presidential election noted that the new development will not hinder him from pursuing his presidential ambition. 

Perhaps could this be a ploy by APC to witch hunt all Southern 2023 potential candidates down? Or could this be a dirty politics game by the opposition party PDP within the state? 

Umahi had also stated while reacting, that Judge Inyang Ekwo had 10 cases against the Ebonyi state government. 

The statement above can perhaps open corridors of questioning. Is the Judge working alongside either of the party? Or could he, perhaps be an unbiased Judge; who is only doing right by the constitution in the Ebonyi state matters? 

All doesn’t seem to go well with the APC party as a lot has been going on in the final months of the present regime, one of such is the Abba Kyari case. There is also a part of the APC party in the North going against the Tinubu presidential aspiration, even some close allies of Tinubu have also stated their displeasure on his presidential aspiration, declaring him unfit for the position, like Aregbosola. 

Currently, no action has been taken as Umahi has declared he won’t be leaving the office; but would instead petition Ekwo to the NJC.  

Umahi’s ray of hope seems to lie on the President of the Federation, who is currently on a medical vacation. Would Buhari save Umahi? 

We are keeping our fingers crossed, while we await the event to unfold 

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