Abia PDP denies hand in Kano Court judgment that sacked gov-elect, Otti

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The Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday night, denied instituting the court case that sacked the state governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti.

The party also challenged Otti over his statement that the Kano Federal High Court judgement that sacked him was a booby trap set for him by the PDP and the Abia State government.

The party, in a statement by its state Vice Chairman/Acting State Publicity Secretary, Hon. Elder Abraham Amah, said its attention has been drawn to the judgement by the Federal High Court in Kano “which sacked the Abia State governor-elect and other candidates elected under the platform of the Labour Party in Abia State on the ground that their party did not submit its register of members to the Independent National Electoral Commission, 30 days before the conduct of its primaries, one of the requirements for candidates to be eligible to contest elections in Nigeria”.

The Abia PDP further said that one Mr Ibrahim Haruna-Ibrahim had filed an application seeking the court to revoke and set aside the certificate of return issued to all LP candidates declared winner in Kano and Abia States, and the judge, relying on the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act (As Amended) granted the prayer made by Mr Haruna-Ibrahim.

The statement reads in part: “The Abia PDP wishes to clarify to the good people of Abia State and Nigerians that it did not institute any case against the Abia governor-elect and the Labour Party in a Federal High Court in Kano.

“However, as a responsible political party, the Abia PDP is aware of the judgement and has mandated its legal team to study the judgement.

Read also: Otti calls the bluff of Kano court sacking him, says plans for his inauguration will go on

“The Abia PDP has already filed a petition against the Abia governor-elect and the Labour Party at the Abia State Election Petition Tribunal and is exploring legal options that would enable it to recover its mandate”.

The party, however, called on Abians to remain calm and peaceful “as we await the judgement of the Election Petition Tribunal and we are very sure that justice would be served at the end”.

Ripples Nigeria reports that a Federal High Court in Kano, presided over by Justice M. N. Yunusa, on Friday, nullified the candidature of Otti, the Abia State Governor-elect, and all the candidates of the Labour Party in Abia and Kano states.

The Court in Suit No FHC/KN/CS/107/2023 filed by Mr Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim 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.

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