New Telegraph

Tribunal Affirms Alex Otti as Abia Governor

The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia yesterday affirmed the election of Dr Alex Otti as the duly elected Governor of Abia State as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

In a 12-hour judgement, the tribunal led by Justice H.T.D. Gwadah dismissed the petition brought by Chief Ambrose Okechukwu Ahaiwe and the Peoples Democratic Party and Chief Ikechi Emenike of the All Progressive Congress, APC, challenging the outcome of the March 18, 2023 Governorship election in Abia State as lacking in merit.

While the tribunal described Chief Emenike as meddlesome interloper, it held that the issues of whether Dr. Otti was qualified to contest the election, raised by Ahiwe, the arguments of the petitioners were pre-election matters which the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain.

It also pointed out that the petitioners failed to lead evidence on the allegation of forgery of NYSC certificate leveled against Dr. Otti and could therefore not prove their case. The Tribunal noted that NYSC was also not a factor for qualifying or disqualifying candidate.

The tribunal insisted that no witness called by the petitioners spoke on documents tendered to prove their allegation of over voting, which made the documents to be of no value, just as the petitioners failed to prove their claim that the result of Obingwa Local Government Area was taken to Abuja where it was allegedly doctored before being brought back to Abia to be declared.

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