• Monday, February 26, 2024
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Otti wins at Supreme Court, shatters opposition’s dream

Otti inaugurates nine-man visitation panel to Abia State University

The Supreme Court sitting in Abuja has thwarted the dream of the opposition People’s Democratic Power (PDP) to return to power in the state.

The PDP candidate in the Abia governorship election, Okey Ambrose Ahiwe, had first gone to the tribunal seeking to remove Governor Alex Otti from office.

Ahiwe, who lost the March 18, 2023 governorship election won by Labour Party’s Alex Otti, had filed a suit on October 30, 2023, seeking to be joined as an interested party in the controversial Federal High Court, Kano decision that all Labour Party candidates throughout the country were not qualified to contest the 2023 elections for the failure of the party to submit their Register to INEC which was subsequently thrown out by the Appeal Court, Kano.

Read also: Appeal Court gives verdict on sacking of Otti

The Supreme Court described Ahiwe’s application as a bubble and agreed with the lawyers to Otti that Ahiwe had slept over his right, if any.
The apex court then dismissed the appeal and awarded cost of N500,000 against Ahiwe.

The PDP and Ahiwe had through a proxy filed a case at the Kano lower court, where they allegely lured the court to give them judgment on the false allegation that the Labour Party did not submit the register of its members to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), consequently nullifying the candidacy of LP members in the general election.

The Appeal Court in throwing out the judgment of the Federal High Court described it as reckless, fraudulent and a legal misadventure.

It could be recalled that Alex Otti was not initially joined in the suit at the Federal High Court, Kano, but he joined at the Appeal stage and his appeal was successful.

Read also: Abia state: Tribunal rejects APC’s petition against Alex Otti

Part of the Judgment of the court of Appeal reads as follows:
“The above motion was supported by a 9-paragraph affidavit which the 2nd Respondent countered as stated above. That shows the level of intrigues and apparent foul play by mischief makers (including some lawyers, unfortunately) to ridicule the court, and attain a fraudulent objective, in my opinion. The role of the 1st Respondent and counsel who appeared for the purported Labour Party at the lower court is suspect. I think the Nigerian Bar Association and the Police have a duty to investigate the claims of conspiracy/collusion or connivance by the 1st Respondent and the counsel named in the counter affidavit of the 2nd Respondent to establish apparent conflicting roles of counsel in this case, with a view to saving the law practice and to bring sanity and decorum to the judicial service in Nigeria, and respect to the Court process. It is so ordered.”

However, despite what seemed a weighty judgment of the court of Appeal of Nigeria, Ahiwe, with the PDP Abia State, decided to pursue an appeal to the Supreme Court, where he sought to be joined to challenge the judgment of the court seeking to argue that Alex Otti was not a member of the Labour Party.