The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has said it would meet next week to deliberate on the Federal High Court’s sack of Ebonyi state Governor, Dave Umahi and come up with an appropriate position on the matter.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, disclosed this in a statement late Thursday.
He said the commission had met on Thursday and deliberated on a wide range of issues, including the rising tide of litigations that do not directly involve the Commission, but in which the principal parties joined it.
According to him, the Commission was briefed by its Litigation and Prosecution Department, including an update on litigations, showing that in the last three months, the Commission has been joined in 71 new cases in various Courts across the country.
He said most of these cases, including the widely discussed one on Ebonyi State, involve either intra-party issues or litigants seeking various reliefs from the Courts that entail consequential orders that are binding on the Commission.
On Ebonyi said, “The Commission today listed this matter for deliberation. It involves Court cases on the defection of the Governor and Deputy-Governor of Ebonyi State and sixteen members of the State House of Assembly from the Peoples Democratic Party PDP to the All Progressives Congress APC.
“The Commission has been served with nine separate Orders and Motions from various Courts on this matter. Just as the Commission was about to commence deliberation on them, its attention was drawn to additional Court processes served today in respect of the matter.
“Consequently, the Commission decided to defer its deliberation on the Ebonyi cases and stepped down the listed Memorandum to enable its Legal Services and Clearance Committee to study the new processes in the light of the previously served ones and advise the Commission comprehensively. The Commission will meet again next week to deliberate on the matter and thereafter make its decision.”