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S’Court Explains Why Otti Lost Guber Case

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Otti

Otti

THE Supreme Court has explained its decision to return Okezie Ikpeazu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as governor of Abia State.

According to the apex court, Alex Otti of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) failed to prove the allegations brought against Ikpeazu’s victory in the April 11, last year governorship election.

Justice Suleiman Galadima yesterday stated that Otti was unable to prove the issue of over-voting, allegations of violence and corrupt practices allegedly perpetrated by the respondents.

He said: “On the issue of over voting, the court holds that there was no sufficient proof, as the voter register and the card reader report were not tendered.

“The criminal allegation of corrupt malpractices carried out by PDP loyalists for the benefit of the governor was not also proved.

“The cancellation of the election results in Obingwa, Osisioma Ngwa and Isiala Ngwa by the Returning Officers amounted to the disenfranchisement of voters.

“It was also inappropriate for the tribunal to order the cancellation of election.

“All of this misappropriation only gave room for the unlawful declaration of the APGA candidate by the lower court.

“Those actions were perversion of justice and the apex court could not have allowed them.”

The Justice noted that the evidence placed before the court showed clearly that the tribunal usurped the constitutional duties of INEC.

He added: “On the card reader, the court maintains its earlier position that the tribunal cannot supplant the voter register.

“The gadget is only meant to authenticate bearers of voter card and not meant to usurp the statutory power of the voter register.

“At the moment, the voter register remains the only authentic document, as provided by Section 49 of the Electoral Act, to prove allegation of fraud in elections.”



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