The ruling that sacked Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi is presently being reviewed, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Umahi’s expulsion was ordered by an Abuja court after he switched from the Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The court ruled that the PDP received the most votes in the 2019 election, and thus Umahi could no longer maintain office after quitting the party.
Festus Okoye, a National Commissioner and Chairman of INEC’s Information and Voter Education Committee, commented on the incident, saying the commission was getting involved in spurious litigation.
He stated that at the commission’s management meeting on Thursday, the electoral body discussed a wide variety of topics, including the growing tide of litigations that do not directly concern the commission but in which the major parties have been involved.
“The commission was informed by its Litigation and Prosecution Department, which included an update on litigations, revealing that the commission has been joined in 71 new cases around the nation in the previous three months.”
“The majority of these cases, like the one on Ebonyi State, involve either intra-party disputes or litigants seeking different reliefs from the courts that imply consequential rulings that are enforceable on the commission,” Okoye said.
When it comes to the issue of Ebonyi State, Okoye says the commission has it on the table for consideration.
“It concerns court matters involving the defection of the Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, as well as 16 members of the State House of Assembly, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC),” he stated (APC).
“On this subject, the commission has received nine distinct Orders and Motions from various Courts, and just as it was ready to begin discussion on them, its attention was directed to new court proceedings served today in regard of the matter.”
As a result, the commission decided to postpone its deliberation on the Ebonyi cases and stepped down the listed Memorandum, according to Okoye, so that its Legal Services and Clearance Committee could study the new processes in light of the previously served ones and provide comprehensive advice to the commission.
He stated that the commission will reconvene next week to deliberate on the issue before making its judgement public.