The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has asked the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Owerri that declared Dr Alex Otti of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA the winner of the April 11 Governorship Election in Abia state.
INEC said it rejected the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division and said instead, the judgment of the Abia Governorship Election Tribunal which upheld INEC’s declaration of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu of the Peoples Democratic Party as winner of the election should be final.
Represented by lead counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN who led a team of other senior lawyers including, Dr Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, A.B. Mahmoud, SAN, H.M. Liman, SAN, Ahmed Raji, SAN among others, the commission said that it was Ikpeazu who won the election and not Otti.
INEC informed the Supreme Court that another panel of the Court of Appeal upheld elections in respect of House of Assembly seats in Osisioma Local Government Area and Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area which took place on the same day the governorship election was conducted.
It will be recalled that in declaring Otti winner of the election, the Appeal Court nullified the governorship election in the three local government areas.
INEC further said that the Court of Appeal was wrong in law when it cancelled the results of elections in the three local government areas. According to the commission, the court of appeal should have dismissed Otti’s appeal having found that a Returning Officer has no power to cancel election results having regard to the provisions of Section 68 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
The commission also said that Otti’s notice of appeal at court of appeal was incompetent and should have been dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
Supporters of APGA and Dr Alex Otti as well as resident of Abia state are anxiously waiting for the final judgment of the Supreme Court.
No date has been fixed for the final judgment.
Cleared by Anthony Okofu