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INEC to decide on court’s ruling against Umahi next week

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will meet on the court’s ruling which ordered the removal of the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, next week.

The INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

He said the commission would come up with an appropriate position on the matter at the meeting.

INEC, according to Okoye, met on Thursday in Abuja and deliberated on several issues, including the court’s ruling on Ebonyi.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had last week ordered Umahi and his deputy, Kelechi Igwe, to vacate the offices following their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2020.

The 16 members of the state House of Assembly who joined the duo in the ruling party were also affected by the ruling.

READ ALSO: ‘Electoral mandates belong to parties, not candidates,’ Falana backs court’s ruling on Umahi

The judge ordered INEC to receive two nominees from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as replacements for Umahi and his deputy.

Okoye said: “The Commission today listed this matter for deliberation. It involves court cases 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).

“The Commission has been served with nine separate Orders and Motions from various Courts on this matter. Just as the Commission was about to commence deliberation on them, its attention was drawn to additional Court processes served today in respect of the matter.

“Consequently, the Commission 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 in the light of the previously served ones and advise the Commission comprehensively. The Commission will meet again next week to deliberate on the matter and thereafter make its decision.”

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