From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Abuja division of the Federal High Court has fixed November 24 for definite hearing in the suit wherein the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is seeking the removal of Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and his deputy, Eric Kelechi Igwe, on account of their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But Governor Umahi urged the court to dismiss the suit for being defective and 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 the 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.
Challenging the competent of the suit through a counter affidavit filed by their counsel, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, Governor Umahi and his deputy drew the attention of the court to a similar suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/729/2021, filed earlier by the PDP and the party state chairman, Fred Udeogu, against the governor, APC, 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.