BREAKING: Court sacks Otti as Abia gov-elect
A Federal High Court sitting in Kano State has nullified the candidature of the Abia State Governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti.
Aside from Otti, the court presided over by Justice M N Yunusa also nullified the candidature of all Labour Party flagbearers in Abia and Kano States.
Yunusa ruled that their emergence was not in compliance with the 2022 Electoral Act provisions.
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The judge gave the ruling on the Suit No FHC/KN/CS/107/2023 filed by one Mr Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim against the Labour Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“The party that has not complied with the provisions of the electoral act cannot be said to have a candidate in an election and cannot be declared winner of an election; this being so, the votes credited to the 1st defendant is a wasted vote,” the judge held.
According to him, the failure of the Labour Party to submit its membership register to the INEC within 30 days before their primaries render the process invalid.
“The party that has not complied with the provisions of the electoral act cannot be said to have candidates in an election and cannot be declared winner of an election.
The Abia Governor-elect, Otti, on April 14 constituted a 75-member inauguration committee to organise his inauguration on May 29.
The LP candidate was declared the winner of the March 18 Abia gubernatorial election by the INEC after winning 10 of the 17 local government areas (LGAs) in the state and polled 175,467 votes.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Okey Ahiwe, polled a total of 88,529 votes while Enyinnaya Nwafor of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) came in third with 28,972 votes.
INEC’s state returning officer, Professor Nnenna Oti, declared Otti as the governor-elect, having polled the highest number of votes and having fulfilled the requirements to be named the governor-elect.