- The move by the PDP to take over Ebonyi state has continued to generate reactions from notable personalities in the country including lawyers
- Recent is the position of a senior advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana who reacting to Umahi's sack, disclosed that Supreme Court never endorsed defection
- The rights activist, Falana hinted further that all the votes that belong to a political party, are not transferable
Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has said that votes cast in any election in the country belong to the political parties, not candidates.
On March 8, Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge at a federal high court in Abuja, sacked David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi, and Eric Igwe, his deputy, over their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking on the development, Falana in a legal opinion article released on Tuesday, March 15, said critics of Ekwo’s verdict failed to state that the majority of votes in the Ebonyi 2019 governorship poll were in favour of PDP that presented Umahi as flagbearer, The Cable reports.
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“Even though Governor Umahi has decamped from the PDP to APC, neither the INEC nor the high court of Ebonyi state has amended the certificate of return to read ‘Nweze David Umahi of the All Progressives Congress."
The senior lawyer faulted his colleagues and other public analysts who believed the judgment on the claim that there are no constitutional provisions on defection citing as an example the Supreme Court’s decision on former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, This Day added.
Defection: Umahi gets favourable court order, PDP's "nominated governor" reacts
In a previous report by Legit.ng, Umahi and his deputy have obtained an interim order from a state high court that would last for seven days.
The order states that the duo (applicants) shall remain and not be removed from office as governor and deputy governor of the state, respectively.
The order was issued by Justice Henry Njoku, who had on Monday, February 28, 2022, ruled in favour of Umahi in a suit filed by the governorship candidate, Senator Sonny Ogbuorji of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 elections.
INEC confirms Umahi’s replacement by PDP, awaits copy of judgment
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ebonyi state said the verdict that confirms the illegitimacy of Umahi has not been communicated to the office of the electoral body.
The INEC commissioner in the state, Kelechi Igwe on Thursday, March 10 in an interview on television disclosed the recent development.
Igwe who is yet to receive a formal notice from the court confirmed that the electoral body has received a communique from PDP seeking a replacement of the embattled governor and his deputy