Court Nullifies Alex Otti’s Candidature, Abia, Kano Candidates Of LP

A Federal High Court in Kano, presided over by Justice M N Yunusa, has delivered a verdict nullifying the candidature of Abia State Governor-elect, Dr. Alex Otti, and all Labour Party candidates in Abia and Kano States. The court ruled that their emergence did not adhere to the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act, rendering the entire process invalid.

Court Rules Non-Compliance with Electoral Act

In a copy of the judgement obtained by Concise News, the court in Suit No FHC/KN/CS/107/2023, filed by Mr. Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim against the Labour Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), declared that the Labour Party failed to submit its membership register to the INEC within the stipulated 30 days before their primaries. As a result, the court ruled that the party lacked a valid candidate in the election, and any votes attributed to the party were considered wasted.

“The party that has not complied with the provisions of the electoral act cannot be said to have a candidate in an election and cannot be declared winner of an election; this being so, the votes credited to the 1st defendant is a wasted vote,” the judge stated.

Labour Party Accuses Breakaway Group of Seeking Nullification

On Wednesday, the Labour Party raised allegations that a breakaway group led by acting National Chairman Lamidi Apapa approached a court in Kano State to invalidate the party’s recent electoral victories. In a statement, the party’s acting National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, expressed concern over the “illegal attempt” to nullify the elections won by the Labour Party in the general election.

Ifoh further alleged that Samuel Akingbade Oyelekan, the suspended National Legal Adviser and a member of the Apapa group, colluded with members of other political parties to seek the invalidation of all Labour Party elections. The basis for the nullification was the party’s alleged failure to submit a register of voters to the INEC. Akingbade, who presented himself as representing the Labour Party, did not oppose the motion, leading to the judge reserving judgment for Thursday.

Party Calls for Recognition of Legitimate Representation

The Labour Party’s spokesperson, Obiora Ifoh, urged the judiciary and law enforcement agencies, including the police and the Department of State Services (DSS), to take note that Akingbade and Apapa’s loyalists no longer represent the party. The party called for the recognition of the legitimate leadership and representation, emphasizing that the actions of the breakaway group were unlawful and intended to undermine the party’s electoral victories.

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