Court sack: Ebonyi gov, deputy, lawmakers appeal judgment | Dailytrust

Court sack: Ebonyi gov, deputy, lawmakers appeal judgment

Dave Umahi
Dave Umahi

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and his deputy, Eric Kelechi Igwe, have asked the Court of Appeal in Abuja to set aside the judgement of the Federal High Court which removed them from office.

Justice Inyang Ekwo had in the judgment on March 8, held that the governor and deputy’s defection was unconstitutional.

The judge further held that the governor failed to controvert the depositions of the PDP that he was elected on its platform in the March 9, 2019 governorship election, adding that the immunity clause of Section 308 of the Nigerian Constitution does not apply to political matters.

The appeal filed by their counsel, Chukwuma Machukwu Ume (SAN) on Wednesday, includes a separate appeal for the 16 lawmakers also removed by the court on Tuesday.

In the 8-grounds of appeal, Umahi and his deputy contend that the judge erred in law in arriving at the decision as “there is no provision of the 1999 Constitution that provides for the removal of the appellants as sitting governor and deputy governor respectively of Ebonyi State for the reason of defection.”

Umahi and Igwe further contended that the judge erred in law when the court assumed jurisdiction on the issue of defection when it has no jurisdiction.

They contended that “The trial court erred in law and misdirected itself when it relied on sections 68 and 109 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) in holding that the appellants having defected from the PDP to the APC offended the provisions of the constitution and must vacate their offices as governor and deputy governor respectively.

In contending that the candidate receives the votes, and not the political party, the lawyer submits that “Section 285(13) of the Constitution, restated that: An election tribunal or court shall not declare any person a winner at an election in which such a person has not fully participated in all stages of the elections.”

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