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Umahi lifts ban on conduct of LG Election in Ebonyi

Ebonyi Governor David Umahi has lifted the ban on political activities in the state.

He also directed the State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) to go ahead with the conduct of the local government elections.

Umahi disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abakaliki, the state capital.

The elections were supposed to hold in April but the Governor suspended the exercise, citing outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and some other political parties had already concluded primary elections at the time.

As a result of the indefinite postponement of the polls, the tenure of the serving elected Chairmen ended on May 29.

Umahi thereafter appointed and swore in Caretaker Chairmen for the 13 councils in the state.

However, a lawyer, Kelechi Chukwu, dragged the Governor and EBSIEC to court seeking the nullification of the Caretaker Chairmen’s appointments.

He also urged the court to order for a fresh election to be conducted within 90 days arguing that Umahi’s actions was unconstitutional.

It is not clear if the suit was responsible for the Governor’s decision to lift suspension of the electoral process.

A statement announcing the lifting of the suspension by the Commissioner for local government, and rural development, Samuel Okoronkwo and Commissioner for Information Uchenna Orji, did not give reasons for the Governor’s decision.

The statement reads: “In exercise of his powers under Ebonyi State Coronavirus and other Dangerous (Infectious) Diseases and Related Matters Law, 2020 and Regulations thereof and all other enabling laws thereto, the Governor of Ebonyi State, His Excellency Engr. Chief David Nweze Umahi FNSE FNATE has issued Executive Order lifting the suspension of Electoral Processes and Political Activities for the 2020 Local Government Elections in Ebonyi State”.

“To this end therefore, the Governor has directed Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) to immediately commence activities for the conduct of the 2020 Local Government Elections in the State as required by law”, the statement added.

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