Friday, 1 April 2022

Defection: Appeal Court Dismisses Suit Seeking to Sack Umahi, Deputy


 




The Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu on Friday upheld the defection of Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi and his deputy, Mr Kelechi Igwe, to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The court dismissed the appeal filed by Sen. Sonni Ogbuoji and Mbam Ogodo, seeking to remove the governor and his deputy, for having no locus in their bid.

In a lead judgment delivered by Justice J. O. K. Oyewole, the court held that the appellants, lacked locus in their bid to supplant the respondents.


Oyewole said that the defection of the governor and his deputy from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC might appear immoral.

He however held that the Constitution did not provide for their removal from office based on defection.

"Defection of elected executives is not novel in our political system but their removal must be in accordance with the constitution.

"The defection might appear immoral but they have freedom of association," he said.

The judge said that there were no express constitutional provisions for consequences on the defection of a governor or deputy governor to another party.

He said that it was not the duty of the court to start making laws or inserting words in the express provision of the constitution.


Speaking this evening on channels television, Dave Umahi said judgment is a plus to strengthen democracy, expressing confidence in the judiciary. 

When asked if his judicial trial was politically motivated and if his presidential ambition was still alive, the governor said Nigerians should wish him well in his presidential dreams. 


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