The Court of Appeal in Lagos has delivered a decisive judgment, dismissing appeals lodged against the election of Governor Alex Otti of Abia State. The legal challenges were initiated by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), along with their respective governorship candidates.
In a unanimous decision, the three-man panel of the Appeal Court affirmed Otti’s victory, emphasizing its adherence to the provisions of the Electoral Act. The court dismissed the appellants’ petitions, characterizing them as lacking in merit and akin to “a comedy skit brought to a democratic setting.”
Addressing questions about Otti’s political affiliations, the court clarified that issues related to party membership fall under the jurisdiction of the respective political parties. It underscored Otti’s eligibility, citing his membership with the Labour Party and the proper submission of his name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as key factors validating his candidacy in the election.
Concerns raised by the PDP and its candidate regarding the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) were acknowledged by the appeal court. However, the court noted a lack of substantial evidence to support the appellants’ claims.
The verdict stands as a significant legal victory for Governor Alex Otti, confirming the legitimacy of his election in the eyes of the judiciary. The court’s dismissal of the appeals reaffirms its commitment to upholding the democratic process and ensuring compliance with electoral regulations.