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Why The Court Sacked Abia Labour Party’s Governor-Elect, Alex Otti

Court nullifies the election of Abia Labour Party Governor-Elect, Dr. Alex Otti, and other candidates due to non-compliance with the 2022 Electoral Act.

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A Federal High Court in Kano, overseen by Justice M N Yunusa, has annulled the election of Dr Alex Otti, the Abia State Governor-elect, as well as all other candidates of the Labour Party in both Abia and Kano States. The basis for this decision lies in the court’s conclusion that their election was not conducted in line with the regulations of the 2022 Electoral Act.

“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,” declared the presiding judge.

The verdict was obtained by MandyNews early Friday morning, offering insights into the legal intricacies surrounding the ruling.

Violation of Electoral Act: A Closer Look

Case No FHC/KN/CS/107/2023 filed by Mr Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim against the Labour Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), shed light on the root of the issue. The Labour Party had reportedly failed to submit its membership register to the INEC 30 days prior to their primaries, leading to the court invalidating the entire process.

Interestingly, this crisis has erupted from within the Labour Party itself. Earlier this week, Mandy News reported that a “breakaway group” within the party, spearheaded by acting National Chairman Lamidi Apapa, had allegedly sought to annul the party’s recent electoral successes through the courts.

A Party in Conflict

“The Labour Party has been informed of an illegal attempt by a breakaway group in the party led by Lamidi Apapa to misguide a Kano state High court to invalidate all the elections won by the Labour Party in the just concluded general election,” revealed Obiora Ifoh, the LP’s acting National Publicity Secretary, in a statement.

This internal strife has been further exacerbated by allegations levelled against Samuel Akingbade Oyelekan, the suspended National Legal Adviser and an integral member of Apapa’s group. Accused of conspiracy with members of other political parties to invalidate Labour Party’s electoral victories, he allegedly left Abuja for Kano State while the Presidential Appeal Tribunal was in session.

Ifoh called for the attention of the judiciary, police, and the Department of State Services (DSS) to note that Akingbade and Apapa’s loyalists no longer represented the party. This, he argues, compounds the legal and ethical questions surrounding the party’s recent political trajectory.

Conclusion

This recent court verdict underscores the importance of adhering strictly to electoral procedures, while also spotlighting the potential for internal party conflicts to undermine democratic processes. As the Labour Party navigates these tumultuous waters, observers wait with bated breath for what this might mean for future electoral outcomes in Abia and Kano States. As always, MandyNews will keep you updated with the latest developments in this unfolding political drama.

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Source: MandyNews.com

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