BREAKING: Appeal Court Suspends Judgement Sacking Alex Otti, LP Candidates
The Court of Appeal in Kano has issued a stay of execution on the recent judgment made by Justice M.N. Yunusa of the Federal High Court in Kano that sacked Abia State Governor-Elect, Alex Otti and other Labour Party candidates.
AttNews reports that the judgment had declared all votes cast for Labour Party (LP) candidates in Kano, Abia, and other states as wasted votes.
The stay of execution comes after Dr. Alex Otti, the governor-elect of Abia State, filed an application. Otti’s legal team requested that he be included as an interested party in the case and that the lower court’s judgment be suspended until a decision is reached.
The Appeal Court has granted Otti’s request, putting the lower court’s judgment on hold.
It should be noted that following the judgment of the lower court, a subsequent appeal was filed by Umeh Kalu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) representing the Labour Party. Kalu urged the higher court to overturn the trial court’s judgment.
Kalu argued that the trial court had made a legal error and caused a miscarriage of justice by entertaining a lawsuit that lacked any legal basis.
The initial lawsuit was filed by Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim, who sought the nullification of the LP candidates’ votes in the 2023 election. Ibrahim also requested the high court to invalidate the Certificate of Return issued to the LP candidates and instructed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to award the first runner-up in all constituencies won by LP candidates.
In his ruling, Justice M.N. Yunusa declared all LP votes as “wasted votes” due to the party’s failure to submit its membership register to INEC within the stipulated 30-day period before their primaries.
However, the trial judge declined to address the issuance of the Certificate of Return, stating that “the parties that participated in Abia state are not parties before this court.”