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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed the 8th and 14th of March, this year, to deliver judgments in the multiple suits filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, seeking the removal of the governor of Ebonyi state, Chief David Umahi and his deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe from office on account of their defection from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the dates after counsels to the suits had adopted their briefs of arguments for and against the suit.
The crux of the plaintiff’s case was that the defendants purportedly defected and relinquished their membership of the PDP on which platform they contested and won the governorship election, and by so doing were deemed to have lost the majority votes scored at the election and consequently should be ordered by the court to vacate their respective offices as Governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi state.
Other defendants in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and the All Progressive Congress, APC.
However, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, who is also the counsel to Governor Umahi and his deputy, had urged the court to decline jurisdiction and transfer the case to Ebonyi state.
He particularly drew the attention of the court to the fact that Nigeria is a federation with 36 states including Ebonyi state.
Meanwhile, Governor Umahi and his deputy, Dr. Igwe had approached the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal for the interpretation of some constitutional issues arising from the suit filed by the PDP challenging their defection to the APC.
Furthermore, they contested that being Ebonyi State Governor and Deputy Governor sworn into Offices by the Chief Judge of Ebonyi State they cannot be liable to be removed from their Offices by a Federal High Court.
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