Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi has reacted to his sack and that of his deputy by Federal High Court in Abuja, saying, court of law lacks the legal competency to entertain suit against a sitting governor on electoral matter after Election Tribunal had passed its judgement.
The Governor stated this few hours ago in Ebonyi while to the Federal High judgement.
According to David Umahi, the laws are very clear, a governor cannot be sued.
He stated this while making references to High court ruling in Ebonyi and Zamfara states.
David Umahi emphatically said he would not obey Justice Inyang Ekwo judgement.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of Federal High Court in Abuja today ruled that David Umahi and his Deputy Eric Kelechi Igwe deemed to have willfully resigned after both defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP on whose platform they were voted for.
Osazuwaakonedo reports that a common understanding of the Nigeria electoral law shows the electoral system only permits Nigerians to vote for political party and not the individual.
But a careful understanding of the 1999 Nigeria constitution which is above any other law in Nigeria, shows any individual has the freedom of association.
All political parties in the country are by law association where anybody have the right to stay or leave
But the new legal chapter opened by Justice Inyang Ekwo will lead to more legal argument in higher courts to determine if a person or persons who decided not to be a member or members of any political party have the right to continue to enjoy the benefits, privileges, assets and entitlements of his or her former party or political association.
Justice Inyang Ekwo ruled that the total number of 393, 042 votes governor Umahi secured during the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Ebonyi state, belonged to the PDP and 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.
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 political party”.
“There is no constitutional provision that made the ballot transferrable from one party to the other”.
It held that the PDP is bound to retain the votes and mandate that was given to it by electorates in Ebonyi state, as both governor Umahi and his Deputy could not validly transfer same to APC.
The court, therefore, ordered both Umahi and Igwe to immediately vacate their positions.
It 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 gubernatorial election in Ebonyi state in line with section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The court further restrained both Umahi and Igwe from further parading themselves as governor or deputy governor of Ebonyi state.
The judgement followed a suit the PDP lodged before the court.