Tribunal dismisses PDP’s petition to dustbins, upholds Otti’s election

The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia has thrown the PDP’s petition against the election of Governor Alex Otti into the dustbins for lacking in merit.

The court also confirmed Dr. Alex Otti as the duly elected Governor of Abia State.

The tribunal led by Justice H.T.D. Gwadah which. dismissed the petition brought by Chief Ambrose Okechukwu Ahaiwe and the Peoples Democratic Party challenging the outcome of the March 18, 2023 Governorship election in the State said Governor Otti was duly elected.

Delivering judgement on the matter, Justice Gwadah held that on the issue of whether Dr. Otti was qualified to contest the election, the arguments of the petitioners were pre election matters which the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain.

It also pointed out that the petitioners failed to lead evidence on the allegation of forgery of NYSC certificate leveled against Dr. Otti and could therefore not prove their case, while noting that NYSC was also not a factor for qualifying or disqualifying a candidate.

The tribunal insisted that no witness called by the petitioners spoke on documents tendered to prove their allegation of over voting, which made the documents to be of no value, just as the petitioners failed to prove their claim that the result of Obingwa Local Government Area was taken to Abuja where it was allegedly doctored before being brought back to Abia to be declared.
In an interview, Counsel to the petitioners, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwaogu, said they would study the judgement and decide on the next line of action with their client in line with the provisions of the law.

On his own, the Labour Party Chairman in Abia State, Mr. CeeKay Igara described the judgement as a reflection of the will of the people who overwhelmingly voted for Dr. Otti.

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