The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia on Friday struck out the petition filed by the PDP Candidate, Chief Okechukwu Ahaiwe, challenging the election of Gov. Alex Otti Abia State of the Labour Party (LP).
The three-member panel in its almost four-hour judgement, read by Justice G.T.D Gwada, dismissed the three grounds raised by the petitioner for lacking in merit.
The tribunal in a unanimous decision held that the petitioners failed in their attempt to convince the panel that the election was marred by irregularities and not conducted in substantial compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 beyond reasonable doubt.
It further ruled that the issue of whether Otti was qualified to contest or whether the LP’s Governorship Primary was not duly conducted “were entirely party affairs and, therefore, the tribunal lacked the jurisdiction”.
The tribunal also held that the petitioners were unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt their allegations that Otti did not score the majority of the lawful votes cast and that the election was marred by corrupt practices and irregularities.
The judgment was delivered at the Federal High Court Room, amidst heavy presence of security personnel.