Supreme Court upholds Alex Otti’s election as Abia governor

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The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Alex Otti as governor of Abia state.

The five-member panel of justices, led by Uwani Abba-Aji, dismissed the appeal filed by Okey Ahiwe, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), deeming it as “lacking in merit”.

The apex court also dismissed the appeal filed by Ikechi Emenike, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In March 2023, Otti of the Labour Party (LP) was declared winner of the governorship election in Abia after he polled 175,466 votes to defeat Ahiwe of the PDP who scored 88,529 votes.

Aggrieved, Ahiwe and his party challenged the outcome of the election at the tribunal.

They contended that Otti was not qualified to run for the election because he was not a registered member of the LP and forged his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate.

The tribunal ruled that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations against the respondent.

The tribunal also held that the contention over Otti’s qualification to contest the election was a pre-election matter that the tribunal cannot adjudicate on.

In December 2023, the court of appeal affirmed Otti’s election.