2nd December, 2023
By Paul Dada
The People’s Democratic Party affirms its trust in the Nigerian courts despite the fact it lost in its quest to overturn the election of the Abia State Governor, Alex Otti at the Appeal Court.
An Appeal Court sitting in Lagos State in a unanimous decision had on Saturday, upheld the victory of Abia State Governor, Alex Otti in the 2023 election.
The appellate Court dismissed the appeals filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their governorship candidates seeking to upturn the verdict of the Elections Petitions Tribunal which affirmed against Otti’s victory. The higher court maintained that the election conformed to the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The appeal court panel said, among other things, that the issue of the political party membership of Otti is a pre-election matter which falls within the jurisdiction of the political party. It held that Otti joined the Labour Party, won its primary election his name was submitted his name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
But the PDP acting State Publicity Secretary for Abia, Abraham Amah, in a statement, said that the legal team of the party was reviewing the judgement even as he said they had confidence in the judiciary. The statement said, “The attention of the Abia PDP has been drawn to the judgement of the three-man panel of Appeal Court judges which sat in Lagos and upheld the decision of the Abia Election Petition Tribunal which had affirmed Alex Otti as the winner of the March 18, 2023 Abia governorship election following his declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
“Following the judgement of the Appeal Court, the Abia PDP assures its members, numerous supporters across Party lines and the good people of Abia State to remain calm as the Party leadership is meeting with the governorship candidate and his running mate and the legal team to review the judgement of the Appeal Court and come up with the next line of action.
“Abia PDP uses this opportunity to reiterate its confidence in the Judiciary as the last hope of the common man and one of the strongest pillars of our democracy.
“We call on members of the PDP, our numerous supporters and sympathisers and the good people of Abia State to remain steadfast, calm, peaceful, law-abiding and put our hope and trust in God and in the Judiciary as we explore the options available to us.
“We also call on the good people of Abia who have been suffering under the bad policies of Alex Otti to know that the Party would never abandon them.”