Governor Umahi and deputy to appeal judgement sacking them from office
Embattled governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, and his deputy, Dr. Eric Igwe, have approached the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal to set aside the Tuesday, March 8, judgment by Justice Inyang Ekwo sacking them from office on grounds that they defected from the PDP to the APC.
The court ruled that the votes the politicians polled during the state governorship election belonged to PDP and cannot be transferred to APC following their defection.
They argued that the trial court, in ordering them to vacate their offices, based on the suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/920/2021, attempted to overrule a subsisting decision of the Supreme Court in AG Federation v. Atiku Abubakar & 3 ORS (2007) LCN/3799 (SC).
They maintained that the trial high court judge erred, when he held thus: “I have not seen any authority which propounds that where a governor or deputy governor defects his political party on which platform he was elected into office, he cannot be sued by that political party to reclaim its mandate… Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution did not envisage such a situation.”
“The provisions of Section 308 are specific, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this constitution, but subject to subsection (2) of this section, no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted or continued against 3rd and 4th Appellants during their mandate in office as Governor and Deputy Governor respectively.
There is no provision of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) that provides for the removal of 3rd and 4th appellants as sitting governor and deputy governor respectively of Ebonyi State for reason of defection.”the counsel said
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