Conflicting Court Orders: INEC Defers Decision on Umahi, Igwe, Others

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Independent Electoral Commission

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said it has suspended taking further action on the court ruling on the defection of the Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi and his deputy, Eric Igwe due to multiple court orders and conflicting actions.

The Commission in a statement by its National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voters’ Education, Festus Okoye said: “Since then, the Commission has been served yet more court processes on the same matter, bringing the total to 12.

“The Commission deliberated extensively on these cases and decided to further suspend action on the defection of the governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi State and 16 members of the State House of Assembly from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the light of the conflicting judgements and orders served on it from Courts of coordinate jurisdiction. “

He said that the Commission also considered it prudent to stay action on the conflicting judgements and orders being aware of the pendency of appeals and motions for stay of execution of some of the judgements before various divisions of the Court of Appeal.
Okoye also said INEC deliberated on a wide range of issues, including preparations for the Osun State Governorship election.

According to Okoye, INEC would meet today to publish in its state and local government offices in Osun State, the list and personal particulars of the candidates that political parties propose to sponsor at the election.
He said the aspirants must be those who emerged from valid primaries in line with Section 29 of the Electoral Act 2022.

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The Commission said it would publish the list and personal particulars of the candidates of 15 out of the 18 parties that conducted primaries.

According to INEC, the nominations of the Action Alliance (AA); African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) would not be published due to their failure to comply with the Commission’s Guidelines on Political Party Operations (2018) or the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

INEC explained that the AA did not submit a nomination jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the party while the ADC and APGA nominated candidates that did not meet the age requirements for the office of Deputy Governor as enshrined in the Constitution.
The Commission, Okoye said had already communicated its position on the matter to the affected political parties.

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