Otti not sacked by court – Aide

Alex Otti

Mr Ferdinand Ekeoma, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Abia Governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti, on Friday, urged the public to disregard the purported sack of his principal by a Federal High Court in Kano.

Ekeoma made the request while reacting to the media report at a news briefing in Umuahia.

He described the judgment of the court as “baseless, unfounded and misleading”.

He further described the process as a “legal coup”.

He said that “the perpetrators were not courageous enough to confront Otti in the open.

“Otti was never joined as a party for fear that his eminently qualified lawyers would take the perpetrators to the cleaners,” he said.

Ekeoma further said that the court did not issue any Order on Abia LP candidates nor Otti “because it was conscious of its powers and careful not to fall into the booby trap set for it by the perpetrators”.

“The court specifically stated in Clause 9 of the judgment that the candidates that participated in the election in Abia are not parties before this court and as such the court lacks the jurisdiction to make an order for the issuance of Certificate of Return to them.

“The Federal High Court in Abia had entertained similar cases as  pre-election matters involving some PDP candidates versus LP candidates, and  the matters were adjudicated upon to the Supreme Court.

“In all the cases, LP won at the Federal High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

“The case brought by the petitioners is a pre-election matter and under Section 285(14)(a) of the Electoral Act, the petitioners have no locus standi as they were not  aspirants in LP,” he said

He also argued that the Court  in Kano lacked the jurisdiction over Abia, arguing that it was impossible for any decision emanating from it  to have effect on Otti.

Ekeoma urged the people not to panic.

“Otti in the next few days will be sworn in as governor to enable him to commence the process of rebuilding the state.

A section of the media reported that the court, presided over by Justice M.N Yunusa, nullified the candidacy of all those that participated in the 2023 General Elections on LP’s platform in Abia and Kano.

The suit was filed by one Ibrahim Haruna against LP and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The court had ruled that the LP’s failure to submit its membership register to INEC within 30 days before its primaries, amounted to a violation of the Electoral Act.