Jubilation in Abia as Supreme Court upholds election of Otti as Abia governor

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Jubilation in Abia as Supreme Court upholds election of Otti as Abia governor
Gov. Alex Otti of Abia

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the election of Alex Otti as duly elected governor of Abia.

Justice Uwani Abba-Aji while delivering the judgment dismissed the appeal against the victory of Otti.

She held that the appeal by the PDP lacked merit.

NAN reports that the appeals were lodged against Otti, who won his election on the platform of the Labour Party, LP, by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Okey Ahiwe, and his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Ikechi Emenike.

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It will be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared that Otti polled 175,466 votes to defeat his closest rival, Ahiwe of the PDP, who scored 88,529 votes in the gubernatorial poll that was held on March 18, 2023.

Dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, both Ahiwe and Emenike of the APC, who came in third, separately challenged it.

However, in a judgement delivered on October 6, 2023, the Abia State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal dismissed the petitions and upheld Otti’s election victory.

The verdict of the tribunal was affirmed by the Court of Appeal in Lagos, which also dismissed appeals that were entered against Otti by both the PDP and APC candidates.

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Jubilation in Abia

Umuahia, the capital of Abia State has been thrown into a celebration mood as supporters of Governor Alex Otti and other residents rejoice over his victory at the Supreme Court.

The apex Court while delivering judgement on the PDP and Okey Ahiwe’s suit, said the PDP did not have a right to question the nomination of Alex Otti by the Labour Party as its candidate, as it was a political party affair.

According to the Supreme Court, the PDP’s appeal is like the proverbial case of crying more than the bereaved and should not have been taken up to the level of the Supreme Court.

Many supporters of Governor Alex Otti, including some non-members of the LP celebrated the verdict by declaring free drinks at eateries while some transporters offered free rides to intra-city passengers in Umuahia.

Also, the sound of canons were heard inside the Abia State government house quarters.