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INEC suspends action on court judgment sacking Umahi, 16 lawmakers over defection to APC


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended action on the court judgment sacking the governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, over his defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)

The commission also took same action on Umahi’s deputy, Eric Igwe, and 16 members of the State House of Assembly.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in statement said that “the Commission met on Thursday 17th March 2022 on the matter, 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 served on it in the light of the previously served ones and advise the Commission comprehensively.

“Since then, the Commission has been served yet more Court Processes on the same matter, bringing the total to twelve. The Commission deliberated extensively on these cases and decided to further suspend action on the defection of the Governor and Deputy-Governor of Ebonyi State and sixteen members of the State House of Assembly from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the light of the conflicting judgements and orders served on it from Courts of coordinate jurisdiction.”

According to Okoye, the “Commission also considers it prudent to stay action on the conflicting judgements and orders being aware of the pendency of Appeals and Motions for Stay of Execution of some of the judgements before various divisions of the Court of Appeal”.

Speaking on Osun Governorship Election, Okoye said “The Commission would on Friday 25th March 2022 publish in its State and Local Government Offices in Osun State the list and personal particulars of the candidates that Political Parties propose to sponsor at the election. These must be candidates who emerged from valid primaries in line with Section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022.

“The Commission will publish the list and personal particulars of the candidates of 15 out of the 18 political parties that conducted primaries. The nominations of the Action Alliance (AA); African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) will not be published for their failure to comply with the Commission’s Guidelines on Political Party Operations (2018) or the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

“The AA did not submit a nomination jointly signed by the National Chairman and Secretary of the party while the ADC and APGA nominated candidates that do not meet the age requirements for the office of Deputy Governor as enshrined in the Constitution. The Commission has already communicated this position officially to the affected Political Parties”.

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