Otti rejects victory for Ikpeazu at tribunal
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate in Abia State guber election, Alex Otti, has rejected the decision of the Election Petitions Tribunal, which reaffirmed the election of Okezie Ikpeazu.
Speaking with The Guardian, yesterday, in Umuahia, his Media Aide, Mr. Ferdinand Ekeoma said Otiti rejected the Tribunal’s dismissal of his petition against the declaration of Ikpeazu, stressing that his principal faulted the verdict and viewed it as one based on technicalities that override the law and consequently, could not be married in harmony with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Ekeoma, who said the judgment would be challenged at the Appeal Court, said that the 14 days allowed was not enough for Otti to present his 700 witnesses to testify.
Otti’s grounds of petition filed by Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) included over-voting, non-compliance with the Electoral Act, violence, and inconclusive voting in some areas, among others. He demanded the election be cancelled strictly in accordance with the Electoral Act provisions.
The tribunal, in its judgment read by the Chairman, Justice Lekan Ogunmoye, held that Otti did not prove his allegations of over-voting, electoral violence, inconclusive election in some areas, ballot boxes snatching and declared Ikpeazu as duly elected.
Ikpeazu’s counsel, Dr. Paul Ananaba lauded the verdict, describing Otti’s petition as lacking merit. He said the governor was calling on Otti to sheath his sword and join hands with his government to serve the people.