From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and his deputy, Dr. Eric Kelechi Igwe, have jointly asked a Federal High Court to dismiss the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), seeking their removal from office on account of their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC), for being defective and constituting a gross abuse of the court process.
In an originating summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/920/2021, the PDP has principally urged the court to make a declaration that by defecting from the party on which they were sponsored and elected as Governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi state, to the APC, a political party that did not win the election, they have resigned or deemed to have resigned from office.
The crux of the plaintiff’s case is that the defendants purportedly defected and relinquished their membership of PDP on which platform they contested and won the governorship election, and by so doing are deemed to have lost the majority votes scored at the election and consequently should be ordered by the court to vacate their respective offices as Governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi state.
The suit joined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) as 1st and 2nd defendants.
But challenging the competent of the suit through a counter affidavit filed by their counsel, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN), Governor Umahi and his deputy drew the attention of the Court to a similar suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/729/2021, field earlier by the PDP and the Ebonyi state chairman of the party , Hon Fred Udeogu, against the Governor, the All Progressive Congress, the Independent National Electoral Commission and others on the same subject matter, reliefs and annexures attached as the instant case.
While praying the court to hold that the present action by the plaintiff is irritating, annoying and constituted a gross abuse of the court process, Ume submitted that his clients had already filed processes in defence of the suit FHC/ABJ/CS/729/2021 at the Abakaliki division of the court.