Tribunal: Otti, Ahaiwe, Emenike know fate today in Abia

The governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State capital, will today give its judgement on the petitions against Governor Alex Otti, brought by Ikechi Emenike of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Okey Ahaiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Emenike, who was the APC guber candidate in the March 18 election, through his lead Counsel, Tochukwu Maduka, SAN, prayed the Court to remove Governor Otti from office, alleging that Otti did not resign his membership of the APC before joining LP in 2022.

Emenike in his petition, also alleged that Otti’s name was not in the register of the LP when the party nominated him as its governorship candidate for the 2023 election.

In the suit, Ikechi Emenike joined Okey Ahaiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Enyinnaya Nwafor of Young Progressive Party, YPP, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as respondents.

Okey Ahaiwe of the PDP who came second at the March 18 polls, is also challenging the victory of Governor Otti, praying the Court to remove the governor and declare him (Ahaiwe) as the real winner of the poll.

Ahaiwe presented his case through his lead Counsel, Paul Ananaba, SAN, where he pleaded with the tribunal to consider the materials and arguments presented before it.

Before the adoption of the written addresses, a PDP subpoenaed witness, Samuel Oduntan had also appeared before the tribunal to testify.

But the Counsel to Governor Otti, A.J. Owonikoko, while adopting his written address, prayed the tribunal to dismiss every suit brought against his client, Otti.

He also argued that Samuel Oduntan was incompetent to appear before the tribunal.

The SAN therefore, prayed the tribunal to uphold his client (Otti’s) victory.

Information space in Abia State has since last week been awash with heated statements emanating from different groups, concerning today’s judgement.

Supporters in the camps of the three gladiators have been releasing several statements, some of which have been subjects of media war in the State since this week.

The State government had earlier in the week denied sponsoring the Presidential candidate of Labour Party, in the February 25 election, Mr Obi’s Court case against President Bola Tinubu’s victory, as alleged by a group.

The State government, in the statement, also denied the allegations that it was sponsoring the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to cause insecurity in Abia.

The Abia government further accused the two parties challenging Otti’s victory of allegedly sponsoring the group that made the allegations against the Abia State government.

But the PDP in the State, in a reaction signed by Abraham Amah, Vice Chairman, denied threatening tribunal members or sponsoring any group.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had in March, declared Alex Otti of LP as the duly elected Governor of Abia, with 175,467 votes.

Okey Ahaiwe of the PDP came second with 88,527 votes, while Enyinnaya Nwafor of the YPP came third with 28,972 votes.

(Daily Post)

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