Connect with us

News

Defection: Court Sacks Ebonyi State Governor Umahi And His Deputy

Published

on

Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi
Share

 

A Federal High Court, Abuja has ordered the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi and his deputy, Eric Igwe, to vacate their seats as the sitting governor and deputy respectively, on grounds that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the election on March 2019 and not its candidate.

Having defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Umahi and his deputy cannot transfer the mandate of the PDP to the APC.

Citing section 221 of the constitution, Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered the PDP immediately send names of replacements to INEC so that fresh elections can be conducted.

Justice Ekwo also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cease from recognising Umahi and Igwe as the governor and deputy governor of the Ebonyi State.

Delivering judgement in the case, the presiding judge, Justice ordered the governor and his deputy to vacate office, adding that their defection was illegal, null and unconstitutional.

He ordered INEC to receive names of candidates from the PDP to replace Umahi and Igwe.

The governor and his deputy defected from the PDP on whose platform they were elected into office in the 2015 and 2019 general elections to the APC.

Determined to reclaim its mandate, the PDP sued the Umahi, Igwe, the APC and INEC.

The court noted that the crux of the matter was the defection of the 3rd and 4th from the PDP to the APC, adding that the averments of the 3rd and 4th Defendants did not address the issue of defection rightly and frontally but rather resorted to general denial to affidavit evidence.

Justice Ekwo said the depositions of the 3rd and 4th Defendants in their counter affidavit were “evasive and insufficient” to competently challenge the Plaintiff’s originating process.

It was the opinion of the court that the “Immunity Clause” in section 308 of the Constitution is not absolute.

The court ruled that “Section 308 is a veritable constitutional shield” and not for political reasons.

Justice Inyang said Umahi and Igwe did not controvert the deposition that total votes scored in an election belong to a political party.

He stated that evidence abound that the 2nd defendant (APC) contested the Ebonyi State Governorship election held on March 2019, with its own candidates.

“It can be noted that the Constitution does not deal with the issue of defection lightly,” the court stated.

“The 3rd and 4th Defendants cannot transfer the votes and victory of the Plaintiff on March 9, 2019, to the APC.  Office of the Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi state belongs to the PDP.

“The option for Umahi and Igwe is to vacate office and wait for next election to contest election under the platform of its new party,” the court declared.

The court said the act of the APC, Umahi and his deputy is aimed at dismantling the 1999 Constitution.

Consequently, the court declared that under the democratic system operated in Nigeria, the plaintiff won the majority of votes during the election and is entitled to enjoy same till end of tenure of office for which the election was made.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

Buhari Pledge to Rescue Kaduna Train Attack Hostages

Published

on

President Muhammadu Buhari
Share

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday assured to rescue 31 hostages taken in a train attack and return them “safe and unhurt”, his office said, five months after their abduction.

Gangs of bandits with no ideological or religious motives are known to kidnap for ransom in northwest and central Nigeria.

On March 28, armed men blew up a train travelling between Abuja and Kaduna and opened fire, killing eight people, wounding 26, and taking an unspecified number of passengers hostage.

A week later, they freed one hostage — a top bank executive — as a goodwill gesture for Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, because of his “advanced age”.

Dozens of hostages have already been freed following negotiations, but 31 remain in the kidnappers den.

“I have been informed that at last count, there remain about 31 people in the hands of the kidnappers,” Buhari told representatives of the families of the hostages in Abuja on Thursday.

He said his government would ensure the safe return of the remaining hostages to their families.

“My primary concern is to get everyone released safe and unhurt,” he assured.
The president commended the security forces on recent successes against kidnappers and “terrorists”.

“In the past couple of days, you must have heard about the number of terrorists neutralised by the military, and a number of hostages freed. These efforts will not stop, or reduce,” he said.

“We must take the fight to the terrorists and demonstrate that there is no hiding place for them within the borders of our country,” he said.

“Each one of them will be hunted, and pursued and spoken to in the language that they understand,” he added.

Continue Reading

News

Five Guards Brigade Killed By Bandits Buried In Abuja

Published

on

Five Guards Brigade Killed By Bandits Buried In Abuja
Share

 

The Nigerian Army on Thursday buried five members of the Guards Brigade killed by bandits during a clearance operation in the Federal Capital Territory recently.

The soldiers were laid to rest at the Guards Brigade Cemetery, Maitama , Abuja, according to a statement by Guards Brigade spokesperson, Captain Godfrey Anebi Abakpa

Among the deceased was Captain Attah Samuel.

“Until their demise, the gallant soldiers were serving with 7 Guards Battalion, Lungi Barracks Maitama and 176 Guards Battalion Gwagwalada in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja respectively,” the statement said.

“While reading the funeral oration of the deceased officer and soldiers, the Commanding Officers of 7 Guards Battalion Lt Col Salim Yusuf Hassan and Commanding Officer 176 Guards Battalion, Lt Col Joshuah Kolowale Adisa described the late Captain and Soldiers as thoroughly bred Infantrymen who were genuinely committed to their duties in defence of Nigeria and whose contribution and services would be greatly missed.

“They asked God to console the families left behind stressing that while the Brigade and the Nigerian Army mourns, the families should take solace in the fact that they have fought a just fight and their souls shall continue to rest with the lord till the resurrection morning.

“Highpoint of the event was the presentation of accoutrements by the representative of the Chief of Army Staff, Maj Gen James Alilu Ataguba to the next of kins of the deceased personnel and lowering of the remains of the fallen heroes.

There was also the blowing of the last post and gun salute to bid the departed heroes fair well

“The burial process started with Christian wake keep and funeral service held in honour of the fallen heroes at St John’s Military Church (Protestant) before the final Internment at the Guards Brigade Cemetery Maitama Abuja.

“The solemn ceremony was witnessed by senior officers of the Nigerian Army, Commanding Officers, Staff Officers of the Brigade, Bwari Area Council Chairman, Hon John Gabaya as well as family members and the barracks community.”

Continue Reading

News

Two More ISWAP Terrorists Linked To Owo Church Attack Arrested – DHQ

Published

on

Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor
Share

 

Two more Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists linked to the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo state, have been arrested.

Gunmen had on June 5 stormed the Catholic church, killing over 40 worshippers and injuring others.

The incident drew widespread condemnation, with President Muhammadu Buhari ordering security agencies to arrest the attackers.

On June 9, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, blamed the attack on ISWAP, but the claim was countered by Ondo state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.

Just yesterday, the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, announced that the gunmen behind the attack on the church have been arrested.

But in a statement on Wednesday, the Director of Defence Information, Jimmy Akpor, said the two suspected ISWAP fighters were arrested through the collaborative effort of the military and the Department of State Services (DSS).

“Recall that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, during his parley with media executives and editors yesterday, Tuesday 9 August 2022, informed of the arrest of 4 terrorists among those who carried out the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo on 5 June 2022,” Akpor said.

“They were arrested through a combined operation by military and DSS personnel at Eika, Okehi LGA, Kogi State on 1 August 2022.

“Those arrested include Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Otohu Abubakar, Aliyu Yusuf Itopa and Auwal Ishaq Onimisi.

“Barely few hours after the disclosure by the CDS of the arrest of 4 of the Owo Catholic Church attackers, 2 additional ISWAP terrorists, who were also connected to the attack on the church were apprehended at Omialafara (Omulafa), Ose LGA, Ondo State yesterday, 9 August 2022.

“The arrests were made through the collaborative effort by military and DSS personnel. The suspects are Al-Qasim Idris and Abdulhaleem Idris.

“It is instructive to note that Abdulhaleem, alongside other high profile ISWAP commanders, had also previously coordinated attacks on military targets in Okene, Okene LGA, Kogi State resulting in casualties.”

Continue Reading