The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has submitted names of its candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to replace the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi and his Deputy, Kelechi Igwe as directed by the Federal High Court.
The PDP nominees are, Mr Iduma Igariwey as Governor and Mr Fred Udeogu as Deputy.
The Court sitting in Abuja, had on Tuesday ordered the Governor and his Deputy to vacate their seats as the sitting governor and deputy respectively, on the ground that the PDP won the election on March 2019.
The Court, presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo ruled that 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 Ekwo therefore, directed INEC to receive names of Umahi and Igwe’s replacements from the PDP or in the alternative, conduct fresh governorship poll.
The court also sacked the 17 members of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly who also defected with the Governor and his deputy to the APC.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the National Chairman of the PDP, Dr Iyorchia Ayu said that “Governor Umahi, his deputy and the 17 lawmakers were elected on the PDP platform in 2015 and again in 2019, but defected to the APC on November 17, 2020, citing “injustice done to the South-East.
“Determined to reclaim our stolen mandates, the PDP sued them and joined both the APC and INEC in the suit… And the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, gave the PDP and democracy justice today.”
“In a landmark judgement, the court ruled that the votes in any election in Nigeria were to political parties and not candidates…And consequently ordered all the affected persons to vacate office, “ Dr Ayu said.
According to him, the PDP appreciated the Nigerian Judiciary for the landmark judgement, stressing that the ruling would bring order in the country’s political space.
The PDP called on INEC to immediately issue the Certificates of Return to the nominees as replacement for Mr Umahi and Igwe pursuant to the Order of the Court.
It said; “Furthermore, we call on the Chief Judge of Ebonyi State to immediately swear them in as soon as INEC issues the requisites Certificates of Return.
“Also we urged INEC to immediately withdraw the Certificates of Return from the 17 lawmakers and begin the process of conducting bye-elections.”
Ebonyi: PDP submits nominees for Governor, Deputy’s replacement