According to Channels TV report, “An Appeal Court has declared the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, Mr Alex Otti, as winner of the Abia State Governorship election. The court in its ruling on Thursday ordered the swearing in of Mr Otti, as governor of Abia State and asked Mr Okezie Ikpeazu to vacate the office.”
“The Appeal court sitting in Owerri just declared me the rightful winner of the #AbiaState guber elections. Glory be to God,” Alex Otti wrote on his Facebook page.
“The five-member panel, headed by Justice Oyebisi Omoleye, annulled the election on the grounds of substantial non-compliance with the electoral law.” according to Vanguard news.
Delivery the judgement, “Omoleye said that the cancellation of the elections held in three LGAs of Obingwa, Osisioma Ngwa and Isiala Ngwa by the returning officers after the results were uploaded to INEC was wrong.
“In the Electoral Act, the Returning Officer has the right to only declare results of elections and not to cancel elections.
“This panel discovered that the earlier results uploaded to INEC headquarters correspond with the correct valid registered voters in the three LGAs, while that awarded to the respondent, shows over voting and therefore null and void.
“Omoleye had while reviewing preliminary objections and issues raised by both parties, struck out the preliminary objections by Ikpeazu’s counsel to the effect that the appeal lacked merit.
“She also turned down the objection raised by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that the members of the panel were wrongfully constituted and affirmed the arguments of Otti’s counsel.
“The appellate court maintained that the lower tribunal erred by not handling all the issues raised.” Vanguard reported.