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We’ll take a decision on Umahi next week, says INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the ruling which sacked Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State is currently being reviewed.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the ruling which sacked Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State is currently being reviewed.

An Abuja court had ordered Umahi’s removal over his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling All progressives Congress (APC).


The court held that votes cast in the 2019 election were for the PDP and Umahi could no longer hold office after leaving the party.

Commenting on this development, a National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Festus Okoye, said the commission was being joined in frivolous cases.

He said at the commission’s management meeting, on Thursday, the electoral body deliberated on a wide range of issues, including the rising tide of litigations that do not directly involve the commission, but in which the principal parties joined it.

“The commission was briefed by its Litigation and Prosecution Department, including an update on litigations, showing that in the last three months, the commission has been joined in 71 new cases in various courts across the country.

“Most of these cases, including the widely discussed one on Ebonyi State, involve either intra-party issues or litigants seeking for various reliefs from the courts that entail consequential orders that are binding on the commission,” Okoye said.

Speaking on the case of Ebonyi State, Okoye said that the commission listed this matter for deliberation.

He said, “It involves court cases on the defection of the Governor and Deputy-Governor of Ebonyi State and 16 members of the State House of Assembly from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“The commission has been served with nine separate Orders and Motions from various Courts on this matter.
“Just as the commission was about to commence deliberation on them, its attention was drawn to additional court processes served today in respect of the matter.”

Okoye said that consequently, the commission 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 in the light of the previously served ones and advise the commission comprehensively.

He said the commission will meet again next week to deliberate on the matter and thereafter make its decision public.

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