Defection: Ebonyi court orders Umahi, deputy to remain in office

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The removal of governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state and his Deputy governor, Kelechi Igwe by an Abuja federal High Court has been nullified by another High court in Abakaliki.

Justice Henry Njoku of Ebonyi State High Court sitting in Abakaliki the state capital had Thursday issued another order that the embattled Governor, and his deputy, Kelechi Igwe should remain in their offices.

In a suit No HAB/13/2022 delivered by Justice Njoku on February 28, 2022, the Court dismissed the suit seeking to sack Umahi and his Deputy from offices for defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

A suit was earlier filed in an Abakaliki High Court by Senator Sunny Ogbuorji that contested for the 2019 governorship under All Progressive Congress, seeking Umahi’s removal from office for defecting after being voted into power on the platform of the People’s Democratic Part.

But, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday sacked Umahi and his deputy for defecting to the APC in another suit.

Delivering his judgment on a motion ex-parte, Justice Njoku said that his earlier judgment which came before the judgment of the Federal High Court remains valid and subsisting.

“An interim order of this Honourable Court for seven days (7) subject to renewal is hereby granted, given its judgment in Suit NO HAB/13/2022 delivered on the 28th Day of February 2022 being a judgment in rem and having precedence over any subsequent contrary judgment The applicants hereto, Engr David Umahi and Dr . Kelechi Igwe shall accordingly remain and not removed from office As Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State respectively”.

The judge further called on all parties to obey the Court orders and refrain from abusing the judicial process.

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