(JUST IN)Abia: Appeal court affirms Otti’s election

On Saturday, an Appeal Court in Lagos State unanimously upheld Abia State Governor Alex Otti’s election victory, noting that it was conducted in conformity with the stipulations of the Electoral Act.

The court dismissed the challenges brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their governorship candidates challenging Otti’s election.

The appellants’ petitions lacked substance, according to the appeal court, because they resembled “a comedy skit brought to a democratic setting.”

Concerns about political party membership, according to the court, are a pre-election matter that also falls under the power of the political party.

Otti was entitled to run, according to the statement, because he joined the Labour Party, won its primary election, and submitted his name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The appellants failed to demonstrate or link their documentary evidence to the specific features of the issue concerning the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, raised by the PDP and its candidate, according to the appellate court.

Governor Otti’s followers across the state are overjoyed with the outcome.

READ ALSO: Abia: Jubilation as Gov Otti begins payment of judicial workers’ 8-year salary arrears

Meanwhile, the PDP, in a statement issued by the party’s acting State Publicity Secretary, Abraham Amah, urged its members to “remain steadfast, calm, peaceful, and law-abiding.”

The statement reads:

“The attention of the Abia PDP has been drawn to the judgement of the three-man panel of Appeal Court judges which sat in Lagos and upheld the decision of the Abia Election Petition Tribunal which had affirmed Alex Otti as the winner of the March 18, 2023 Abia governorship election following his declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

“Following the judgement of the Appeal Court, the Abia PDP assures its members, numerous supporters across Party lines and the good people of Abia State to remain calm as the Party leadership is meeting with the governorship candidate and his running mate and the legal team to review the judgement of the Appeal Court and come up with the next line of action.

“Abia PDP uses this opportunity to reiterate its confidence in the Judiciary as the last hope of the common man and one of the strongest pillars of our democracy.

“We call on members of the PDP, our numerous supporters and sympathisers and the good people of Abia State to remain steadfast, calm, peaceful, law-abiding and put our hope and trust in God and in the Judiciary as we explore the options available to us.

“We also call on the good people of Abia who have been suffering under the bad policies of Alex Otti to know that the Party would never abandon them.”

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