The Abia State election petition tribunal, sitting in Umuahia, has rejected three of the requests made by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Okey Ahaiwe, against Governor Alex Otti. The tribunal delivered this judgment at approximately 1:20 pm, citing a lack of merit as the reason for dismissing Ahaiwe’s case.
Ahaiwe had contested the declaration of Governor Otti as the duly elected governor by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Through his lawyer, Paul Ananaba, SAN, Ahaiwe had sought the court’s intervention to remove Otti and declare him as the winner, alleging that Otti’s electoral victory did not align with Section 77 of the Electoral Act, among other claims.
However, the tribunal rejected all of Ahaiwe’s requests, deeming them lacking in merit. This verdict led to spontaneous celebrations by thousands of Labour Party (LP) supporters who had gathered from various parts of the state outside the Federal High Court complex.
In a related case, the tribunal is currently handling a suit brought by Ikechi Emenike of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against Governor Otti. Emenike is requesting that the tribunal remove Governor Otti from office, asserting that Otti did not resign from the APC before joining the LP. He also contends that Otti’s name was not in the LP’s register when he participated in the gubernatorial election held on March 18.
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