Why we are yet to act on judgment sacking Umahi as governor – INEC

THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has explained why it is yet to act on the court judgment which ordered the removal of Ebonyi State governor David Umahi and his deputy, Kelechi Igwe.

INEC spokesperson Fetus Okoye explained in a statement on Friday that the agency was taking its time because of different judgments on the subject.

“It will be recalled that the Commission met on Thursday 17th March 2022 on the matter, decided to defer its deliberation on the Ebonyi cases, and stepped down the listed Memorandum to enable its Legal Services and Clearance Committee to study the new processes served on it in the light of the previously served ones and advise the Commission comprehensively,” he said in the statement.


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According to him, INEC has been served a total 12 court proceedings on the matter.

“The Commission also considers it prudent to stay action on the conflicting judgments and orders being aware of the pendency of appeals and motions for stay of execution of some of the judgments before various divisions of the Court of Appeal,” Okoye added.

An Abuja Federal High Court sacked Umahi and his deputy earlier this month.

Justice Inyang Ekwo ruled that Umahi could not transfer the votes that got him into power on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The judge ordered INEC to stop recognising Umahi and his deputy, and directed the PDP to send names to the electoral umpire as their replacement.

The court said Umahi forfeited his governorship position when he defected from the PDP to the APC in 2020.

Umahi had described the judgment as a “sham”.

He accused the judge of doing a “hatchet job”, saying he was on a mission to embarrass the APC and the Federal Government.






     

     

    In compliance with the court order, the PDP has nominated a member of the House of Representatives Iduma Enwo Igariwey to replace Umahi as Ebonyi State governor.

    The party also nominated Fred Udogwu to replace Kelechi Igwe as deputy governor.

    The PDP has asked INEC to issue Igariwey and Udogwu with certificates of return so they can be sworn in immediately.

    However, Umahi has filed an appeal against the judgment.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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