Okey Ahiwe: The PDP candidate who may displace Labour Party’s Otti as Abia Gov

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The nullification of the election victory of Alex Otti as Abia State governor-elect, by a Federal High Court sitting in Kano State on Friday could see the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Okey Ahiwe, who came second in the March 18 governorship election, become the governor.

In nullifying Otti’s election, Justice MN Yunusa, of the Federal High Court sitting in Kano State, held that ”the party that has not complied with the provisions of the electoral act cannot be said to have 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”.

He also said the failure of the Labour Party to submit its membership register to the INEC within 30 days before their primaries renders the process invalid.

If the nullification of Otti’s election stands, the candidate of the PDP, Chief Ahiwe, who came second in the March 18 governorship election in Abia State will likely become the governor.

Read Also: Court nullifies election of Otti as Abia gov-elect, 10 days to inauguration

Ahiwe who was the immediate-past Chief of Staff to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, had emerged the Abia State governorship candidate of the PDP after the death of Professor Uche Ikonne who was original PDP governorship flag bearer.

In a rescheduled primary, Ahiwe had polled 469 votes to defeat eight other contestants for the race.

At the March 18 guber polls, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Otti as the winner after he polled 171,747 votes, with Ahiwe coming second with 79,477 votes.

Before his foray into politics, Ahiwe was a highly accomplished entrepreneur and businessman with interests in the maritime and oil and gas sectors.

He is the Chief Executive Officer of Ambrokah Investments Ltd & Powertrim Nigeria Limited, supporting major multinational oil firms.

Before he was appointed as the Chief of Staff to the Gov. Ikpeazu in April 2022, he had served in the campaign council for governorship elections in state, and was also part of the national sub-committees of PDP for the conduct of party primaries in Cross River and Oyo States.

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