By Ononye VC
Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has hailed the judgment by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja over the sack of Governor David Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State and his Deputy, Dr Eric Kelechi Igwe, following their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
The umbrella body of all registered political parties and political associations in Nigeria in a statement signed by the CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, said the court’s ruling that the total number of 393, 042 votes Governor Umahi secured during the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Ebonyi state, belonged to the PDP and same could not be legally transferred to the APC was the in order.
“We agree with the court that having defected to the APC, both Umahi and his deputy, not only jettisoned the PDP, but also the votes that belonged to the party they left.
“Like the court averred, going by the outcome of the governorship election, the office of the governor and deputy governor in Ebonyi State belong to the PDP and not to the APC as there is no constitutional provision that made the ballot transferrable from one party to another.
“The verdict of the court has vindicated the CNPP, which has been in the forefront of advocacy that it was immoral and illegal for any elected office holder to defect to another party with the mandate of the people given to his or her former party.
“We therefore commend the judiciary for taking the bull by the horn and moving to end the defection impunity which is destroying democracy in Nigeria.
“For us, the court judgment corresponds with the ruling by the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the Omeha vs Amaechi, which averred that it was the party that was voted, note the individual fielded by the party”, the CNPP concluded.