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Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday declared as illegal, the defection of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and his deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe, from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.
The court made the order in a judgment on a suit filed by the PDP seeking the removal of Umahi and Igwe from office.
While Umahi, at a press conference in Abakaliki berated the judge and insisted that he remained the state governor, the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, said the party had forwarded Umahi and Igwe’s replacements to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Earlier on Tuesday, the FHC Abuja held that the crux of the suit was the defection of the third defendants (governor) and the fourth defendants (deputy governor) from the PDP to the APC.
Read Also: I Remain Governor of Ebonyi State – Umahi
The judge said the declarations of the third and the fourth defendants did not address the issue of defection rightly and frontally but rather resorted to general denial and affidavit evidence.
Justice Ekwo said the depositions of the third and the fourth defendants in their counter-affidavit were “evasive and insufficient” to competently challenge the plaintiff’s originating process.
He said, “The immunity clause” in Section 308 of the constitution is not absolute. Section 308 is a veritable constitutional shield”, and not for political reasons.
The court said Umahi and Igwe did not controvert the deposition that total votes scored in an election belonged to a political party.
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.