A Federal High Court sitting in Kano, presided over by Justice M N Yunusa has nullified the candidature of the Abia State Governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti and all the candidates of the Labour Party in Abia and Kano States.
The court ruled that their emergence was not in compliance with the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act.
A copy of the judgement delivered by the court was made available to newsmen on Friday.
The Court in Suit No FHC/KN/CS/107/2023 filed by Mr Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim on May 11, 2023 against the Labour Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, ruled that the failure of the Labour Party to submit its membership register to the INEC within 30 days before their primaries renders the process invalid.
“The party that has not complied with the provisions of the electoral act cannot be said to have a candidate in an election and cannot be declared winner of an election; this being so, the votes credited to the 1st defendant is a wasted vote,” the Judge ruled.
BRANDPOWER however observed that the trial judge wrote in wrote in the last paragraph of the judgment order thus:”The candidates that participated in the elections in Abia State are not parties before this court and as such the court lacks the jurisdiction to make an order for the issuance of certificates of return to them. They are however, at liberty to seek the same redress in the appropriate division of the court”.
No cause for alarm, my inauguration ongoing as planned – Otti
Abia Governor -elect, Dr Alex Otti, has however urged Abians not to panic over his purported sack by a Federal High Court in Kano, saying there is no cause for alarm over the kangaroo judgement.
Otti who spoke with Vanguard in Abia, said arrangements for his swearing-in on May 29 were on full gear as planned, declaring that the antics of the enemies of democracy cannot truncate the will of Abians.
Similarly, 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.
Igara added that only the election tribunal is bequeathed the power to sack a democratically elected person.
He said, “That court pronouncement is laughable. Everybody should go about their normal activities. It is only the tribunal that can remove Alex Otti.
“It is not just a court that will remove someone who was duly elected. In fact I am going to gear up activities for the inauguration”. he said.