The Ebonyi State Government has boasted that its legal team would defeat the Peoples Democratic Party if the party appeals the judgement on Governor David Umahi’s defection to the All Progressives Congress.

Umahi had in November 2020 dumped PDP, on which he was elected for two terms, for APC.

Senator Sonni Ogbuoji approached the court, asking that the governor should vacate office as governor after defecting from PDP to APC.

However, the Abakaliki Division of the Ebonyi State High Court, on Monday, dismissed the suit challenging the defection of Umahi.

The court ruled that the governor did not flout any provision of the Electoral Act or the constitution to warrant his removal from office.

But, the Ebonyi State Chapter of the PDP, on Friday, vowed it would appeal the judgement delivered by Justice H. A Njoku, at the Court of Appeal, described it as a sham.

The PDP also insisted that Justice Njoku erred in delivering the judgement.

The party also threatened to petition the National Judicial Council, stressing that his conduct debased judiciary and abused court processes.

Reacting, on Saturday, to PDP’s planned appeal of the judgement, the Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Uchenna Orji, in a statement, said the opposition party lacked the legal footings and knowledge to challenge Justice Njoku’s ruling in court.

He said, “We assert further that locus standi is a condition precedent for eligibility to sue in this regard and no more. It is further averred that the necessary party or proper party is the party that will be affected by the outcome of the decision in a matter having regard to the relief sought by the party(ies) before it.

“In this case, the candidate recognized by the constitution as a proper party to a probable contender for the Governorship position in the pre-election or election matter is the candidate that came second. Section 188 provides the conditions and circumstances when a duly elected and sworn-in Governor and Deputy shall vacate office and it does not apply to the issue of defection to another party.

“We have a plethora of authorities of superior courts which affirmed that no political party (except Candidates) can be declared the winner of an election. It is common knowledge that under the constitution, a candidate is declared the winner of an election, not a political party.”

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