The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has rejected an Abuja High Court judgement sacking the Ebonyi State governor, Gov Umahi, and his deputy, Kelechi Igwe, saying the ruling cannot stand in the face of law, and thus calling on the governor to ignore the judgement.
An Abuja high court, presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo, has on Tuesday sacked the governor, deputy and 15 lawmakers in the state over their defection from the PDP to the APC.
The Party has now expressed dissatisfaction with the court verdict, noting that the court had erred in its judgement, and thus urging the governor to ignore the judgement.
In a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Salisu Dambatta, the APC described the court’s decision as a clear case of judicial recklessness and travesty of justice.
The party accused the Abuja High Court judge, Mr Ekwo, of committing a judicial error that can not stand in the face of law.
In the statement, the party says, “The Court failed, refused and or neglected to understand the clear difference between a governorship candidate of a political party as contemplated by the Electoral Act and a governor of a state duly sworn in as contemplated by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
It stated further that “Hon. Justice Inyang Ekwo’s judgement only relied on the outdated authority of Amaechi v INEC (Omehia case) without exercising the Judicial power of Judicial distinction between pre-election/election matters and this matter of elected governor defecting to another political party. He chose not to appreciate or he lacked the understanding of the difference between a Governor of a State and Governorship candidate of a Political Party.”
“The Electoral Act and the judgement in Amaechi v INEC contemplate who is the right candidate of the Party and not the issue of defection, as you all know neither Amaechi nor Omehia raised the issue of defection to another Political Party. So it is absolutely ridiculous and questionable, as it is shameful that a judge could decide a weighty matter such as conditions for sacking the Governor of a State without relying on any express provision of the Constitution or Electoral Act or Judicial Authority either of superior courts or even courts of coordinate jurisdiction,” the party reiterated.
Taking cognizance of all the above, the APC argued that the sack ofw an incumbent governor and his deputy by the Abuja High Court contravenes the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as well as any other laws of the land.
In this regard, the party advised the governor to ignore the court verdict and go about his normal duties as the governor of Ebonyi.
Drawing reference from what recently happened to his counterpart in Zamfara state, APC noted that the judiciary has given a clean bill of health to Zamfara governor in a matter for which Ebonyi governor has been nailed by the Abuja court. In the case of Zamfara state, the party emphasized that the Federal High Court affirmed that there is no provision under the law or in the Constitution of Nigeria that empowers any court to sack or tamper with the office of a sitting Governor and or deputy on the reason of defection to another political party.
The party also pointed to the case of Alhaji Abubakar Atiku which was pursued to the Supreme Court and affirmed that the defection of the then Vice-President did not amount to CONSTRUCTIVE RESIGNATION from office.
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