Appea court sitting in Lagos on Saturday, upheld the of Alex Otti as the governor of Abia State, in the 2023 election.
In a unanimous decision, the court affirmed that the election was conducted in conformity with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Consequently, the court dismissed the appeals brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their respective governorship candidates challenging Mr Otti’s victory.
The court deemed their petitions lacking merit, describing them as “a comedy skit brought to a democratic setting.”
Additionally, the court held that issues of political party membership are pre-election matters, falling within the jurisdiction of the political party.
The appellate court also held that since Mr Otti joined the Labour Party, won its primary election and submitted his name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), he was qualified to contest.
Ruling on the issues of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) brought by the PDP and its candidate, the Appeal Court said that they failed to demonstrate or link their documentary evidence to the specific parts of the case.
Responding to the court judgement, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the election, Okey Ahiwe asked his supporters to stay calm and look beyond the eclipse of transitional sunset.
Chief Ahiwe said no one should panic, while expressing deep gratitude to God, his numerous supporters across political party lines, his dynamic legal team, family, friends, and well-wishers.
In his words, “When we embarked on the journey to reclaim our mandate through judicial processes, it was a calculated resolution and we were conscious that the journey would not be a sprint but a peculiar marathon with inevitable twists and turns.”
Ahiwe in the statement which was signed by his Media Adviser, Victor C. Nwokocha maintained that: “Our destination was clearly defined from the onset, and our focus is unchanged. So, at this juncture, our faith in God is renewed, as well as our solid confidence in the judiciary. I therefore encourage all my supporters to stay calm, keep praying to God, and look beyond the eclipse of transitional sunset.”
Chief Ahiwe while extolling the courage and tenacity of his legal team, urged his supporters to remain peaceful and law-abiding, assuring that his legal team would diligently study the judgment of the Court of Appeal, and advise on critical options to guide him and the leadership of the PDP in taking a decision.