The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended action on court orders and motions regarding the defection of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi and Deputy Governors Kelechi Igwe.
On Thursday, the commission disclosed this in a statement by Festus Okoye, INEC’s chairman of information and voter education.
He said the commission met on Thursday and deliberated on various issues, including preparations for the Osun governorship election and defection litigation involving Messrs Umahi, Igwe, and 16 Ebonyi House of Assembly members from PDP to APC.
Mr Okoye said INEC decided to stay action on the litigation in the light of conflicting judgments and orders served on it from courts of coordinate jurisdiction.
“It will be recalled that the commission met on Thursday, March 17 on the matter, decided to defer its deliberation on the Ebonyi cases. The commission stepped down the listed memorandum to enable its Legal Services and Clearance Committee to study the new processes served on it in the light of the previously served ones and advise the commission comprehensively,” stated the INEC official.
He explained that the commission had been served more court processes on the same matter, totalling 12.
“The commission also considers it prudent to stay action on the conflicting judgments and orders, being aware of the pendency of appeals and motions for stay of execution of some of the judgments before various divisions of the Court of Appeal,” he pointed out.
Regarding the Osun governorship election, Mr Okoye said INEC would not publish the nominations of the Action Alliance (AA), African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
He further disclosed that INEC would publish in its state and local government offices in Osun the list and personal particulars of the candidates’ political parties propose to sponsor at the election on Friday.
Mr Okoye stressed that those on the list must be candidates who emerged from valid primaries in line with Section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022.
“The commission will publish the list and personal particulars of the candidates of 15 out of the 18 political parties that conducted primaries,” he reiterated. “The AA did not submit a nomination jointly signed by the national chairman and secretary of the party while the ADC and APGA nominated candidates that do not meet the age requirements for the office of the deputy governor as enshrined in the Constitution.”