Ebonyi Governorship Tussle: Why Umahi May Lose Appeal – Itse Sagay

Prof. Itse Sagay

The Court of Appeal may sustain the High Court ruling which sacked David Umahi as the Governor of Ebonyi State, the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Itse Sagay, has stated.

In his ruling last week, Justice Inyang Ekwo had sacked Umahi and his deputy, Kelechi Igwe as governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi State respectively.

Their removal from office was as a result of their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In an interview with Daily Independent, Sagay who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria said the judgment by the Federal High Court may be sustained by the Court of Appeal.

According to the professor of law, Umahi may have issues in the court of appeal because the judgement was in line with the Supreme Court ruling that removed Celestine Omehia and installed Chibuike Amaechi as Rivers State governor.

He said, “I know there will be an appeal on that ground that there is no specific mention of that in the constitution. The judge only did it by implication. It is permissible in law to do it; when the law takes off from one point, you can extend it to another point by implication.

“I think that is why he is relying on Supreme Court judgment in Amaechi’s case where it was held that it is the parties that are elected”.

“If you go back to that principle alone, then it was the PDP that was elected. That Amaechi’s judgment was a governorship case too just like this one on Ebonyi and it is a very strong point to stand on.

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“So, from the look of things, Umahi may have a problem in the Court of Appeal because the PDP lawyers will argue that this decision that is being appealed against was based on a Supreme Court decision and so, neither the High Court nor the Court of Appeal can change it.

“So, I think there is a fairly good chance that this judgment will be sustained”.


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