Appeal Court reverses judgement sacking Governor David Umahi

Governor Dave Umahi

Governor David Umahi

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has reversed the judgment of the Abuja Federal High Court, sacking Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, and his deputy, Eric Kelechi Igwe.

The Federal High Court had on March 8 sacked Umahi and his deputy for defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Justice Ekwo ordered Umahi and Igwe to vacate their seats as the sitting governor and deputy on grounds that the PDP won the election on March 2019 and not its candidate.

Citing section 221 of the constitution, Justice Inyang Ekwo declared their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress, as illegal, and unconstitutional.

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However, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Haruna Tsanammi reserved Justice Ekwo’s order on Friday.

The appellate court held that the 1999 Constitution as amended, did not provide any punishment for a governor or deputy governor who defected from the party on which platform they got to the office.

The appellate court further held that the only option opened to a political party, aggrieved by the defection of a governor or deputy governor, is to explore the impeachment option provided in the Constitution.

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