Alex Otti: Nullification of my victory inconsequential, cannot stand

Our reporter/ Alex Otti, the Abia State Governor-elect, on Friday dismissed reports purporting the nullification of his candidature in the March 18 governorship election in the state.

The Federal High Court sitting in Kano, presided over by Justice M N Yunusa had earlier on Friday nullified the candidature of the Abia governor-elect and those of other candidates in the Abia and Kano state elections on the grounds that their emergence did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

Reacting to the development, Otti’s lawyer, Chief Umeh Kalu SAN, described the development as “dead on arrival” as his client was not mentioned as a party to the suit filed before the Kano court by one Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim against the Labour Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“The judgement is Inconsequential and dead on arrival. It is dead on arrival because Alex Otti is not a party to the suit. I have seen the judgement. You cannot make an order to anybody that is not a party before you, the senior lawyer said.

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“The issues they raised there are the same thing they raised at the tribunal. They said that the membership register of the Labour Party (LP) was not submitted 30 days before— and— all these issues were raised at the tribunal. Elections have come and gone; candidates accepted by INEC, elections conducted, and results declared.

“Any issue that has to do with that election, the only arena for it is the election tribunal. The issue they raised is a pre-election matter.

“But, even on the merit, the Kano case is dead on arrival. You cannot shave anybody’s head in his absence. Alex Otti’s name was not mentioned in that judgement even though I think he is the target.”

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Also on Friday, the Labour Party Chairman in Abia State, Hon. Ceekay Igara, said the court’s “pronouncement is laughable”.

According to him, the decision of the court would have no significance in the coming inauguration of the governor-elect as only the election tribunal is bequeathed the power to sack a democratically elected person.

“That court pronouncement is laughable. Everybody should go about their normal activities. It is only the tribunal that can remove Alex Otti, he said.

“It is not just a court that will remove someone who was duly elected. Infact I am going to gear up activities for the inauguration”.

Speaking to on Friday shortly after the judgement, Ferdinand Ekeoma, the spokesperson for Alex Otti campaign described the judgement as Inconsequential.

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