INEC Suspends Action on Umahi, Igwe Sack

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it does not want to make a quick decision on the multiple litigations which ordered the sack of Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi and his deputy, Eric Igwe.

This was contained in a statement on Thursday by the commission’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye. 

He noted that the decision would also affect the 16 members of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, who were sacked.

Okoye said: “It will be recalled that the commission met on Thursday 17th March 2022 on the matter, 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 served on it in the light of the previously served ones and advise the commission comprehensively.

“Since then, the commission has been served more court processes yet on the same matter, bringing the total to 12,” he said.

“The commission deliberated extensively on these cases and decided to suspend further action 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) in the light of the conflicting judgements and orders served on it from courts of coordinate jurisdiction.

“The commission also considers it prudent to stay action on the conflicting judgements and orders, being aware of the pendency of appeals and motions for stay of execution of some of the judgements before various divisions of the Court of Appeal.

Empire had reported the judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja who sacked Umahi and Igwe as governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi State after they defected from the party that brought them to power, the PDP, to the APC in November 2020.

However, the sacked Governor and his deputy have approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja to reverse the March 8 decision of the court, which removed them from office.

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