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Sack: Court To Hear Umahi, Deputy, 16 Legislators’ Request For Stay Of Execution March 21

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday fixed March 21, for hearing in the motion filed by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and his deputy, Mr Kelechi Igwe, seeking to stop the execution of the judgment that sacked them from office last week.

The court will also on that date hear a similar motion by 15 lawmakers of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly.

Justice Ekwo had in a judgment delivered on March 8, ordered the applicants to vacate the elected offices they occupied owing to their defection to another party other than the one through which they came into office.

The court held that their continued stay in office was illegal, null and unconstitutional on the grounds that votes in an election belongs to political parties and such votes cannot be transferred, hence the applicants who won the 2019 election with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cannot transfer the votes of the PDP to the All Progressives Party (APC) following their defection.

Although the defendants had appealed the judgment, they however want the trial judge to order a halt to the execution of his judgment pending the determination of their appeal at the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal.

However, when the case was called, the lawyer to the respondents/applicants, Mr Chukwuma Ma-Chulkwu-Ume (SAN), asked the court for a short adjournment to correct some noticeable clerical errors in the motions.

Meanwhile, the plaintiff/respondents, PDP, have filed a counter affidavit wherein they urged the court not to stay the execution of its judgment.

In a short ruling, Justice Ekwo adjourned the case to Monday, March 21, for hearing.

Umahi and his deputy, in the motion on notice brought pursuant to order 26 rules 1 & 2(1) and order 32 rules 1 & 4(1), of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) rules 2019, are praying the court for an order staying the execution of the orders made in the judgment of the court delivered on March 8, 2022.

They are specifically seeking a stay of execution of the order of courtdirecting the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately receive from the PDP the names of its candidates to replace them.

In addition, they want the court to stay the execution of its order directing INEC to hold a governorship election in accordance with section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution.

Furthermore, they want another order staying the execution of the order of court directing INEC to immediately declare the persons nominated by the PDP as governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi State respectively.

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