The Court of Appeal in Lagos State has unanimously upheld the victory of Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, stating that it aligns with the provisions of the Electoral Act. The court dismissed the appeals brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), as well as their governorship candidates against Otti’s win.
In its ruling, the appellate court declared that the petitions presented by the appellants lacked merit, comparing them to a “comedy skit brought to a democratic setting.” The court emphasized that matters regarding political party membership fall under pre-election issues, within the jurisdiction of the respective political parties. It further asserted that Otti, having joined the Labour Party, won its primary election, and submitted his name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was qualified to contest.
Regarding the issue of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) raised by the PDP and its candidate, the appeal court stated that the appellants failed to substantiate or connect their documentary evidence to specific aspects of the case.
The court’s decision has sparked celebrations among Governor Otti’s supporters in various parts of the state. Meanwhile, the PDP, in response to the judgment, called for calm and issued a statement urging its members to remain steadfast, peaceful, law-abiding, and await further action.
The Abia PDP assured its members, supporters, and the people of Abia State that the party’s leadership is in consultation with the governorship candidate, his running mate, and the legal team to review the appeal court’s judgment and determine the next steps. The party reiterated its trust in the judiciary as the last hope for the common man and a pillar of democracy.
It also encouraged the suffering people of Abia State, who have allegedly faced challenges due to what they perceive as the negative policies of Governor Otti, to understand that the party will continue to stand by them.
As the situation unfolds, the Abia PDP and its supporters remain hopeful, putting their trust in God and the judicial system while exploring available options.