New Telegraph

February 29, 2024

Abia Guber: Calm In Aba As A’Court Reaffirms Otti’s Victory, Douses Tension

…as PDP explores available options

There was some anxiety among some residents and supporters of the Labour Party (LP) in Aba before the Appeal Court sitting in Lagos reaffirmed the victory of Dr Alex Otti as the duly elected Governor of Abia State.

Before the ruling, New Telegraph spoke with most residents and LP supporters who expressed fear, alleging clandestine conspiracy against their party following the recent sacking of Darlington Nwokocha, Emeka Nnamani and Destiny Nwagwu, all LP members in the National and State Assemblies.

Recall that Nwokocha who represented Abia Central Senatorial Zone was removed by the Appeal Court, Nnamani who represented Aba South and Aba North Federal Constituency challenged the ruling of the tribunal against him at the Appeal Court and lost while Nwagwu who represented Aba North State Constituency was sacked by the Appeal Court barely a few days ago, hence, the tension.

However, in the case of Otti, the tension was doused as the Appeal Court in its verdict dismissed the appeal filed by both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their candidates Okey Ahiwe and Ikechi Emenike, respectively, challenging the victory of Governor Otti at the March 18, governorship election held in Abia State.

The Court’s judgement did not move without strong words for the dual opposition parties in Abia, describing the APC’s case as a “comedy skit” while that of the PDP was termed “woeful”.

The Court said that the judgment of the Federal High Court in Kano, and the reasons for discountenancing it do not form part of the ratio decidendi of the case, stressing that all arguments in that respect are deemed otiose and, therefore, suffer the fate of striking out.

Giving other details, the court held that the appeal failed and consequently dismissed it with a cost of N1 million awarded against the appellants and in favour of the respondents

Reacting, Otti dedicated his victory at the court of appeal to Abia people, describing the judgment as sound and a bold affirmation of the unanimous decision of Abia people at the polls and the verdict of the Election Tribunal in Umuahia on October 6, 2023.

Otti applauded the justices for being deeply thoughtful and fearless in upholding the facts of law in the face of what he termed desperate and undemocratic onslaughts geared towards ensuring the usurpation of a mandate that is both popular and divine.

He assured Abians that the determination of his government to serve them had received a boost from the verdict of the Court of Appeal.

“The thoughtfulness, fearlessness and unblemished erudition of the learned justices as captured in the judgment spoke eloquently of their determination to deepen our democracy which holds the majority wishes of the people as its foundation.

“Even though we never entertained any atom of fear going by the landslide victory we recorded at the polls coupled with the sound submissions made by our erudite team of lawyers to defend our victory, I was, however, moved by the unprecedented show of love, support and solidarity of our people which is a manifestation of what transpired at the polls as well as their appreciation of the modest achievements we have recorded so far in different spheres of our economy, my resolve to serve them with greater zeal, passion and commitment has been given a boost.”

Otti once again called on his opponents to discontinue what he termed the ungodly and futile attempt to steal the mandate of the people and accept the judgement with humility, sobriety and equanimity.

He called them to join hands with him to work for the development of the state, knowing very well that he won the election clearly and convincingly, assuring that he would work for the overall well-being of all Abia people, irrespective of party differences.

Meanwhile, the main opposition, the PDP has called on all its members, numerous supporters and sympathisers to remain steadfast, calm, peaceful, and law-abiding and put their hope and trust in God and the Judiciary, as it explores the options available to it.

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