Otti Asks Tribunal to Nullify Ikpeazu’s Victory

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Davidson Iriekpen

Following the outcome of the just-concluded March 9 gubernatorial election in Abia State, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship candidate, Mr. Alex Otti, has filed a petition challenging the declaration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, as winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Governor Ikpeazu was declared the winner of the 2019 gubernatorial election in the state on March 10.

Ikpeazu polled a total number of 261,127 to defeat Uche Ogah of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

A copy of the petition sighted by THISDAY yesterday quoted Otti as saying that, the governorship election was not free, fair and was characterised by non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act (as amended) and disregard of the 2019 guidelines for the conduct of the general elections issued by INEC.

The APGA candidate asked the tribunal to cancel the results of 15 local government areas in the state, which he (Otti) claimed, was marred by over voting.

The petition named INEC, Ikpeazu and the PDP as 1st,2nd and 3rd respondents respectively.

Otti’s petition read in part, “that the 2nd respondent, Ikpeazu, was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast in the Abia State governorship election held on March 9, 2019, which election was inconclusive by reasons of over voting, which rendered null and void, the result form 788 polling units in 143 wards spread across 15 local government areas of Abia State-namely, Aba North, Bende, Ikwuano , Isiala Ngwa North, Isiala Ngwa South, Isiakwato, Obingwa, Ohafia, Osisioma Ngwa, Ugwunaogbo, Ukwa East, Ukwa West, Umunneochi, Umuahia North and Umuahia South.

“That the Abia State governorship election held on March 9, 2019, is invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the electoral guidelines for the conduct of the election and that the said election was violated by substantial non-compliance with the mandatory, statutory requirements which substantially affected the outcome of the said elections. That none of the candidates in the said election can be validly returned as having won the said election.”