The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State has upheld the election Victory of Dr. Alex Otti of the Labour Party, as the elected Governor in the 18th March, 2023 election.
Court ruled that no witness called by the petitioners spoke on documents tendered to prove their allegation of over voting, which made the documents to be of no value, just as the petitioners failed to prove their claim that the result of Obingwa Local Government Area was taken to Abuja where it was allegedly doctored before being brought back to Abia to be declared.
They, therefore, dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
The Tribunal also dismissed the petition by Dr. Ikechi Emenike of the APC and Okechukwu Ahiwe of the PDP who also challenged Otti’s election on grounds of having not terminated his membership of the APC before joining the Labour Party and alleged non submission of his NYSC Certificate to INEC among other grounds.
The court ruled that these grounds bothered on pre-election matters that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain and described Emenike as a meddlesome interloper, busy-body and Intruder, who lacked the locus standi to file the petition because he is not a member of the Labour Party to determine it’s choice of Gubernatorial candidate.
According to the Tribunal judgement read by Justice Omolara Adeyemi, the petitioners failed to lead evidence on their allegation of Otti forging his NYSC certificate and consequently did not prove their case, noting that NYSC was also not a factor for qualifying or disqualifying a candidate.
Umeh Kalu, the Counsel for Labour Party while reacting said the Judiciary just put a seal on the election of Governor Alex Otti’s victory which is the Seal Abians have been waiting for.
According to the Chairman of the Labour Party, C.K Igara, he stated that the ruling is what is expected noting that it would have been caustic if the ruling was otherwise.
“I couldn’t have expected anything less than what happened today. This is the first time Abians voted for their choice, and there is nothing less than to uphold their decision.