Dr Alex Otti
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For the third time, Abia Gov. Alex Otti trounces challengers as Supreme Court confirms his election

"In its lead judgment that was read by Justice Uwani Abba-Aji, the apex court held that the argument of the appellants that Otti was not a bona fide member of the Labour Party at the time of the governorship election was a "domestic affair"

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Jubilant citizens of Abia State on Friday celebrated the Supreme Court judgment dismissing the appeals seeking to void the election of Dr Alex Otti of the Labour Party as the governor.

The apex court, in a unanimous decision on Friday, said there was no legal basis to tamper with the concurrent findings of the Abia State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal which upheld Otti’s victory in the March 18, 2023 Governorship election.

In its lead judgment that was read by Justice Uwani Abba-Aji, the apex court held that the argument of the appellants that Otti was not a bona fide member of the Labour Party at the time of the governorship election was a “domestic affair”.

Abba-Aji said since Otti did not stand for the election as an independent candidate, there was no doubt that he was nominated and sponsored by a political party.

The court set aside the contention that Otti’s name was not on the membership list.

The law mandated the LP to submit to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, at least 30 days before it held its governorship primary election.

The Supreme Court also held that even if Otti’s name was not on the said membership list, the PDP and its candidate lacked the locus standi to challenge the matter in court as doing so would amount to “crying more than the bereaved.”

Persecondnews recalls that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared that Otti polled 175,466 votes to defeat his closest rival, Ahiwe of the PDP, who scored 88,529 votes in the gubernatorial poll.

Dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, both Ahiwe and Emenike of the APC, who came third, separately challenged it.

However, in a judgement delivered on October 6, 2023, the Abia State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal dismissed the petitions and upheld Otti’s electorsl victory.

The verdict of the tribunal was affirmed by the Court of Appeal in Lagos which also dismissed appeals that were entered against Otti by both the PDP and APC candidates.

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