Gov. Alex Otti

The Court of Appeal in Lagos has rejected appeals challenging the election of Governor Alex Otti of Abia State. The appeals were filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC), and their respective governorship candidates. On December 2, 2023, a three-man panel from the Appeal Court affirmed Otti’s victory, stating that it adhered to the Electoral Act.

The court dismissed the petitions, deeming them lacking in merit and likening them to a “comedy skit” in a democratic context. It emphasized that matters concerning political party membership are pre-election issues falling under the party’s jurisdiction.

Regarding the Bimodial Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) raised by the PDP and its candidate, the appeal court asserted that the appellants failed to establish a connection between their documentary evidence and the specific aspects of the case. The judgment triggered celebrations among Governor Otti’s supporters in certain areas of the State.

In a separate development, a Federal High Court in Abuja imposed a N25 million fine on Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf, for violating the fundamental human rights of Alhassan Doguwa, a lawmaker representing Doguwa/Tundun Wada federal constituency in the House of Representatives. Doguwa was arrested in February at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, accused of leading thugs to burn the secretariat of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in Kano, resulting in two deaths.

Although charges were withdrawn due to insufficient evidence, Doguwa filed a suit seeking to enforce his fundamental rights. The court ruled in favor of Doguwa, declaring the actions of the respondents to review legal advice and potentially prosecute him as illegal, unconstitutional, and an infringement of his constitutional rights. The court also awarded general damages of N25 million against the 3rd respondent for causing psychological pain and damage to the applicant.





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