A High Court in Abakaliki, yesterday, dismissed a suit challenging the defection of Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi and his deputy, Kelechi Igwe from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr Sunny Ogbuoji had sought an order to reinstate him as governor, instead of Umahi, who just defected to the party.
Delivering his judgment, Justice Henry Njoku, dismissed the suit filed by Ogbuoji for lacking in merit and awarded N500, 000 as damages against him.
Ogbuoji, by originating summons, prayed the Court to hold that Umahi having defected to the APC from the PDP through which he was elected ought to vacate the office of the Governor upon defection.
The judge held that Gov. Umahi has not offended any provisions of the Constitution or the Electoral Act in his defection to APC.
“The suit is dismissed for lacking of merit and award cost of 500, 000 is made against the plaintiff,” he said.
Speaking after the judgment, the Lead Counsel to Gov. Umahi, Roy Nweze, commended the court for a sound judgment.
“1 don’t see the judgment any differently other than what I read from several law reports.
“Every constitutional provision relating to the office of President and Vice president are corresponding provision relating to the governor and his deputy.
“As far back as 2007 the Supreme Court had ruled that there are no consequences for president and vice president defecting from one political party or another.
“Summary, is that the governor and deputy can defect to any political party at any time, even if it’s a day after election,” Nweze stated.
The Plaintiff’s lead Counsel, Ogbonnaya Okorie also commended the judgment.
“We approached court to investigate the provision of the law visa-vis the defection of the Governor to APC,” Okorie said.