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INEC Reacts As Court Sack Ebonyi Governor, Umahi  

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said it was yet to be served the certified True Copy of the Federal High Court that sacked Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and his Deputy, Chief Kelechi Igwe.

This was made known by the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye  in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.

Okoye said INEC would meet and make a decision when it received the certified true copy of the court judgement.

“The Commission has not been served with a copy of the said judgement.

“The Commission will meet and make a decision when it is served with a Certified True Copy of the judgement.”

A Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022; ordered Gov. Umahi to vacate office after his defection from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Justice Ekwo, in the judgment, also ordered Dr. Eric Igwe to stop parading himself as the deputy governor.

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Justice Ekwo further declared that having defected from the PDP, under which platform they came into power; the duo was deemed to have resigned from the office and, hence; no longer entitled to be called the governor and deputy governor.

The judge said it was constitutionally wrong for a candidate elected into an office on a platform of a political party to defect to another political while still in office.

He said the votes gotten by Umahi and Igwe on March 9, 2019, were PDP votes and not for the APC.

In reaction to the court judgement, the PDP said it had submitted to INEC the names of Iduma Igariwey; a serving member of the House of Representatives, as a nominee to replace the sacked Umahi; as well as Fred Udogwu as Deputy Governor to replace Igwe.

The PDP National Chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, at a press conference in Abuja, said that the decision was made after due consultation with party stakeholders at the national and Ebonyi State chapter, in compliance with Tuesday’s judgment of the Federal High Court.

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