In a significant development, the Abia State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has upheld Alex Otti’s election victory. The tribunal, situated in Umuahia, the state capital, dismissed three of the claims put forward by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Okey Ahaiwe, against Otti.
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The verdict, delivered at approximately 1:20 p.m., declared that Ahaiwe’s case against Otti, who ran under the Labour Party (LP), lacked merit. Ahaiwe had contested the declaration of Otti as the duly elected governor by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Represented by his lawyer, Paul Ananaba, SAN, Ahaiwe had urged the court to remove Otti and declare him the winner, citing non-compliance with Section 77 of the Electoral Act and other grievances. However, the tribunal dismissed all of Ahaiwe’s claims for lacking merit.
The tribunal’s decision led to spontaneous celebrations among thousands of LP supporters from various parts of the state. They joyfully danced and celebrated outside the Federal High Court complex.
Meanwhile, the tribunal oversees the case filed by Ikechi Emenike of the APC against Otti. Emenike is seeking Otti’s removal, alleging that Otti failed to resign from the APC before joining the LP. Furthermore, the APC candidate in the gubernatorial election, held on March 18th, contends that Otti’s name was not included in the LP register during the election.
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