The election of Dr. Alex Otti, the incumbent governor of Abia State, and all other candidates running on the Labor Party’s ticket in Abia and Kano state respectively has been declared invalid by a Federal High Court sitting in Kano and presided over by Justice M N Yunusa.
The court determined that their emergence did not follow the guidelines of the 2022 Electoral Act. A copy of the judgment delivered by the court was made available to newsmen on Friday.
The Labour Party’s failure to provide the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, with its membership register within 30 days before the primaries invalidate the process, according to the court’s ruling in Suit No. FHC/KN/CS/107/2023, which Mr. Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim filed against the Labour Party and INEC.
“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.
Meanwhile, the Governor-elect of Abia state Dr. Alex Otti has urged Abians not to panic about his alleged dismissal by a Federal High Court in Kano, stating that the kangaroo judgment is not a cause for concern.
He claimed that everything was set up for his oath of office on May 29 and that Abians’ will could not be curtailed by the antics of democracy’s foes.
This is as the Labour Party has dismissed the said judgment as a waste of time. Similarly, the Chairman of the party in the State, Hon. Ceekay Igara, has described the court’s “pronouncement as laughable”.
He asserted that the court’s ruling would not have any bearing on the incoming inauguration of the governor-elect.
Igara continued by saying that the only entity with the authority to remove a democratically elected official is the electoral tribunal.
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”.