APC lauds court judgment on Umahi’s defection 

Umahi legacy


By Douglas Okoro

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has lauded High Court ruling affirming Gov. Dave Umahi, as Ebonyi governor, in spite of his defection to APC.

Chief Stanley Okoro-Emegha, the state’s APC Chairman, said this in a statement in Abakaliki on Tuesday, saying that the judiciary has proven to be the custodian of the Constitution by the landmark judgement.

Okoro-Emegha said that the judgement was anticipated as the provisions of the Constitution on the matter were clear.

“Umahi’s trajectory in infrastructure development and peace building among communities within and outside the state during his first tenure in office endeared him to the people of Ebonyi.

“In all honesty, for the right thinking citizens like us who participated in the last general election, especially from Edda in Afikpo South, where I hail from knew that the people voted massively for Umahi in 2015 and 2019.

“Ogbuoji and I hail from Edda and we all knew that the electorate voted massively for Umahi because of his achievements in his first tenure,” he said.

He described the suit challenging the governor’s defection as frivolous and an exercise in futility adding that the case has never distracted him from focusing on delivering good governance to the people.

“The verdict has reaffirmed the saying that the judiciary is truly the last hope of the common man. It has also given more strength and hope to the Nigerian people that the judiciary is still very strong and unbiased.

“There was never a time the matter distracted the governor because on several occasions he reassured the people of the state that all the ongoing projects will be completed before he bows out of office in 2023.

“My principal is focused and ever determined to leave office as the best governor in history of the country,” he said.

The chairman, also the state’s Commissioner for Peace and Border Security, said that the court judgement was a welcome development for members of the party.

“The battle is over and the governor still remains the number one citizen of the state.

“He has a covenant with God to rapidly develop the state and its inhabitants; however, in the spirit of sportsmanship, the plaintiff who is now an integral part of the party cannot even appeal the judgement.

“There was overwhelming evidence that the suit lacked merit as read out by the presiding judge; before the ruling, there were stories that he wanted to withdraw the matter,” he said.

Okoro-Emegha called for more support to help the governor to actualise his presidential ambition in 2023.

Sen. Soni Ogbuoji has instituted a suit at an Ebonyi High Court in Abakaliki, challenging the defection of Umahi from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to APC.

Justice Henry Njoku, the presiding judge, ruled on Monday that Umahi did not violate any provision of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) or the Electoral Act by his defection to APC.

Dismissing the suit, Njoku stated that it lacked merit and awarded N500, 000.00 as damages against the plaintiff.(NAN)