The Supreme Court has reserved judgment on the appeal brought by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the 2023 governorship election in Abia State, seeking to quash the victory of Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, in the March 18, 2023 election.
The apex court on Wednesday, after listening to the arguments by the parties in the suit, reserved judgment on a date to be communicated to them and their counsels.
The Supreme Court panel of five Justices, led by Justice Inyang Okoro upon taking arguments on the preliminary motions on notice to strike out some alleged incompetent issues arising in the briefs of the Appellants and the 2nd Respondent, heard the appeal of Okey Ahaiwe/PDP.
The following team of Councels appeared for the Appellants: Alade Agbabiaka, SAN, Joseph Nwobike (SAN), Paul Ananaba (SAN), Ahmed Raji, SAN, CAN Nwokeukwu, SAN, Uche Ihediwa (SAN), A. Malik (SAN) and Theo Nkire.
The first respondent in the matter (INEC) was represented by JTU Nnodum (SAN), KC Nwufo, SAN, and E. A. John Nwosu.
Whereas the following appeared for the 2nd respondent, Governor Alex Otti: A. J. Owonikoko (SAN), Fatoke, (SAN), Akin Afolabi, SAN, Ken Ahia, SAN, and Olusola Dare,, while Labour Party (LP), the third respondent had the following appearances, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), Umeh Kalu, SAN, Echezona Etiaba, SAN, Sonny Ajala, SAN, and Valentine Offia.
The panel led by Justice Okoro upon taking arguments on the preliminary motions on notice to strike out some alleged incompetent issues arising in the briefs of the Appellants and the 2nd Respondent, heard the appeal of Okey Ahaiwe/PDP by taking arguments from Counsels and reserved judgment on a date to be communicated to the parties and their counsels.
Uche Ihediwa, one of the Counsels to PDP struggled to answer the question posed by the apex court on what were the votes scored by PDP as shown in the IREV result for Obingwa LGA.
Ihediwa also could not explain why he failed to FRONT LOAD/attach the Obingwa LGA result of the purported 108,000 votes reportedly scored by PDP to his petition.
Throwing light on the Obingwa LGA, Owonikoko informed the court that the accredited voters for the State House of Assembly and the Governorship for the same day was about 27,000 voters.
Ikpeazu, in his submission “argued” that the appeal was lacking in merit as the Obingwa LGA 108,000 result relied upon by PDP “bore” the stamp of Ward Collation Agent instead of Local Government Collation Agent as stipulated by the Law.