INEC to make pronouncement on Gov. Umayi’s fate next week


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is yet to take a decision on the sacking of David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi and Eric Igwe, his deputy.

The commission said this on Thursday in a statement signed by Festus Okoye, its national commissioner and chairman, information and voter education committee.

Okoye said the commission met yesterday to deliberate on a wide range of issues, including rising litigations that do not directly involve the Commission, but in which the principal parties joined it.

He said most of the cases, including that of Ebonyi State, involved 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 the electoral body listed the Ebonyi matter for deliberation but added “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.”

“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.

“The commission will meet again next week to deliberate on the matter and thereafter make its decision public,” Okoye said.

A federal high court sitting in Abuja had ordered the removal of Umahi, Igwe, and 16 members of the state house of assembly over their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Inyang Ekwo, the judge, held that the 393,042 votes polled by Umahi in the March 2019 governorship election belonged to the PDP and cannot be legally transferred to the APC.

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