Abia Tribunal Judgement: Court Dismisses PDP Petition Against Gov Otti Over Lack of Merit, PDP Rejects Verdict

Abia Tribunal Judgement: Court Dismisses PDP Petition Against Gov Otti Over Lack of Merit, PDP Rejects Verdict

The Abia State Election Petition Tribunal has dismissed the petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party(PDP), against Governor Alex Otti of Labour Party.

 

The Court in its judgement, struck out petitions of the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Chief Okey Ahiwe, challenging the victory of the Labour Party’s gubernatorial candidate and winner of the March 18 governorship election, Dr Alex Otti.

 

Sitting at the Federal High Court, Umuahia, the Tribunal rules that the petition of the PDP lacks jurisdiction to rule on Nominations and Sponsorship of a candidate presented by a political party because it is a pre-election matter.

 

The Tribunal, however, did not rule in favour of the Petitioners.

 

On the issue of non-submission of NYSC certificate, the Tribunal ruled that it is not a qualifying or disqualification factor adding that the Petitioners failed to prove that the 2nd Respondent was not qualified to contest election and the issue was resolved in favour of the Respondent.

 

Speaking on the development to our Reporter, the Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Special and General Duties, Hon George Chidozie, said the judgement is a validation of the mandate Abians freely gave to Dr Alex Otti, the Governor of the state.

Hon George Chidozie, SSA to the Governor on Special and General Duties

Hon Chidozie said so far, the Tribunal did the right thing, adding that the judges were apt in their judgement, as they were able to strike out the petition of the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Chief Okey Ahiwe.

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He stated that several of their motions were dismissed for lacking merit.

 

“This is the right thing to do, going by the result of the March 18 governorship election, you will agree with me that this is the first time Abians will elect a leader of their choice and anything that goes contrary to that, will be a call for anarchy, disunity and chaos in Abia state”.

 

He stressed that Abians are peace-loving people, therefore no action should threaten the existing peace, commending the Tribunal judges for delivering judgement based on merit.

 

The Governor’s Aide further called on the various candidates that contested with the Labour Party candidate, who went to court to seek redress in court, to see reasons with Abians and the Tribunal Judgement to step down their anger and join forces with Dr Alex Otti to bring and birth a new Abia.

 

In a counter-reaction, the People’s Democratic Party, in a Press Release signed by its Vice Chairman/Acting State Publicity Secretary, Elder Abraham Amah rejected the verdict of the Abia Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, calling for calmness of its members.

The Party said having listened to the judgement delivered by the 3-man Abia State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which upheld the victory of Alex Otti, as the governor of Abia State following the March 18, 2023 governorship election, the PDP rejects it in totality.

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“Having rejected the judgement, the Abia PDP has conferred with our team of excellent lawyers and based on our understanding that the learned justices erred, we are appealing the judgement as a means to correct the wrongs by the election tribunal.

 

“As a responsible and law-abiding corporate citizen, the Abia PDP wishes to restate our democratic credentials anchored on the principles of rule of law, justice, law and order and also reaffirm our firm belief in the judiciary as one of the strongest pillars of democracy.

 

“We thank our members, teeming supporters and all democracy lovers who stood with us all the way, before, during and after the elections, as we embarked on a journey meant to strengthen our democracy and right the wrongs inflicted on the electoral process by desperate politicians who are bent on having power at all cost”.

 

The Party, however, called on its members and the good people of Abia State to remain calm, law-abiding, and have faith in the ability of the current PDP leadership to do the right things going forward.

 

Also, the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Chief Okey Ahiwe in a Statement issued by his Media Adviser, Victor Nwokocha, appreciated his supporters and Legal team, saying that there is No Cause for Alarm.

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Reacting to the Tribunal verdict, Chief Ahiwe, expressed profound appreciation to his numerous supporters, his legal team, family, friends and associates, emphasising that “there is no cause for alarm regarding the Tribunal verdict as truth and justice will ultimately triumph.”

Chief Okey Ahiwe

While expressing unblemished confidence in the Judiciary, he said that his legal team would thoroughly examine the judgment of the Tribunal and advise accordingly on the next line of action.

 

Chief Ahiwe called on his teeming supporters to remain calm and law-abiding, assuring that, following due consultations with his legal team and leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he would keep them informed on the direction to take.