The Abia State Petition Election Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, the state capital, has fixed October 6, 2023, to deliver judgment on the petition challenging the declaration of Mr. Alex Otti as winner of the March 18, 2023 governorship election in Abia State.
The governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress in the March 18 governorship election, Chief Ikechi Emenike, had approached the court to seek the sack of Otti, over allegations of non-resignation of his membership before joining the Labour Party.
He also alleged that Otti’s name was not in the Labour Party register before his nomination as the party’s governorship candidate.
Also joined in the petition were the candidates of the People’s Democratic Party, Okey Ahaiwe; the Young Progressives Party, Nana Nwafor and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Speaking to Otti’s led counsel, Abiodun Owolekoko (SAN), said his team was optimistic that the tribunal judgment would favour his client.
He said, “We have been on for some time. The election petition has a circle. There is a time for trial, adoption and judgment.
“Today we have concluded on trial and adoption and the tribunal has fixed October 6 for judgment.”
However, the counsel to Emenike, Tochukwu Maduka (SAN), claimed that the defendant’s counsel failed to provide the Labour Party register where his name appeared.
He said that his team prayed the Court to cancel Otti’s votes, as well as that of the PDP and YPP candidates; and declare his client the lawful winner of the election having scored the highest of lawful votes in the election.
Lead counsel to the PDP, Professor Paul Anaba, said his team agreed with the petitioner to sack Otti, but added that the PDP will benefit from the petition because the case of non-resignation as the chief of staff to the former, holds no water in the eyes of the law.