Appeal court affirms Otti’s election as Abia Governor

The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division on Saturday, December 2 affirmed the election of Dr Alex Otti as the governor of Abia state.

In a unanimous decision, a three-man panel dismissed the appeals brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their governorship candidates against the declaration of Otti as winner of the March 18 governorship election.

The Appeal Court upheld the victory of Otti at the polls, saying that it conformed with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

According to the justices, the petitions brought by the appellants lacked in merit, as they were like “a comedy skit brought to a democratic setting”.

The court ruled that issues of political party membership is a pre-election matter, which also falls within the jurisdiction of the political party.

It further said since Otti joined the Labour Party, won its primary election and submitted his name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), he was qualified to contest.

On the issues of Bimodial Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, the appellate court said the PDP and its candidate failed to demonstrate or link their documentary evidence to the specific parts of the case.