INEC to make pronouncement on Ebonyi next week


Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will next week make a pronouncement on the plethora of court judgments concerning the sack of Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, his Deputy Eric Igwe and 16 members of the State House of Assembly over their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

A Federal High Court, Abuja presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo had in a suit declared the seats of the governor his deputy and 16 lawmakers who defected with them to APC vacant.

The court order followed two suits brought against them by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The judge also ordered INEC to issue a fresh Certificate of Return to the PDP’s nominees for the vacant executive positions in Ebonyi State without delay

Also, a High Court in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State has asked Umahi to remain in office as the governor of Ebonyi State.

But INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in a statement, yesterday, said the Commission had been served with nine separate orders and motions from various courts on the matter. 

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. 


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