Court overturns candidacy of Alex Otti, all Labor Party candidates in Abia, Kano

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A federal high court in Kano, presided over by Justice MN Yunusa, nullified the candidacy of Abia state governor-elect Dr. Alex Otti and all Labor Party candidates in Abia and Kano states.

The court ruled that their turnout did not comply with the provisions of the 2022 election law.

The Court in case no. FHC/KN/CS/107/2023 promoted by Mr. Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim v Labor Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said failure to submit the Labor Party membership register to the INEC within 30 days before their primaries invalidated the process.

“The party that has not complied with the provisions of the electoral law cannot be said to be a candidate in the elections and cannot be declared the winner of the elections; This being the case, the votes assigned to the 1st defendant are lost votes,” the judge ruled.

The Labor Party reported on Wednesday that a “breakaway group” from the party led by interim national president Lamidi Apapa had gone to a court in Kano state to overturn the party’s recent election victories. Obiora Ifoh, the LP’s acting national public relations secretary, who sounded the alarm in a statement, said: “Labour has been informed of an illegal attempt by a splinter group of the party led by Lamidi Apapa, a Kano State Supreme Court to set aside.” all elections won by the Labor Party in the general election have just ended.”

The party spokesperson claimed that “the suspended National Prosecutor and a key member of the disgraced Apapa group, Samuel Akingbade Oyelekan, secretly left Abuja for Kano on Wednesday as the Presidential Court of Appeal was sitting in Abuja and the entire attention was focused on it. In that state, together with some members of the other political parties, he asked the court to invalidate all the elections won by the Labor Party, in particular the elections to the National Assembly of the 36 States and the FCT, on the grounds that we would not have submitted an electoral list to the CENI.

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He added that Akingbade, posing as a Labor representative, did not oppose the motion, forcing the powerless judge to overturn Thursday’s (yesterday) verdict.

Ifoh called on the judiciary and all law enforcement agencies including the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) to take note that Akingbade and Apapa supporters no longer represent the left.

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