The High Court of Ebonyi State has ruled that governor Dave Umahi and his deputy, Eric Igwe shall remain in office despite recent judgement sacking the duo from office.
The judgement has given the embattled governor and his deputy some respite after Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja had on Tuesday sacked him and Igwe for defecting to the All Progressives Congress from the Peoples Democratic Party.
The Ebonyi court judgement in favour of Umahi
The Ebonyi court ordered that Umahi and Igwe desist from vacating their seats as governor and deputy governors, respectively while maintaining that its judgement takes precedent over the federal high court judgment and therefore should be respected by all parties.
The contending parties were asked by the trial judge to bury the hatchet now and abide by the latest judgment.
The court order reads in part: “…the same relied on the supreme court judgment in the case of IGWEMMA & Anor Vs OBIDIGWE & ORS to say that the judgment is binding on the parties in the litigation and others having anything to do with the status of the office of the Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State.”
The legal battle started when Umahi and his deputy defected to All Progressives Congress but refused to relinquish power, which they rode unto through the Peoples Democratic Party.
The duo have gone ahead to appeal the Federal High Court judgment that sacked them from office in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/920/2021.
In their argument, Umahi and his deputy said the Federal High Court erred when it said it had “not seen any authority which propounds that where Governor or Deputy Governor defects his political party on which platform he was elected into office, he cannot be sued by that political party to reclaim its mandate.”
The Appellants also argued that the judgement erred in Grounds 5, 6, 7 and 8, asking the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court.
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