Breaking: Labour Party appeals Kano Court decision declaring Otti’s candidature invalid

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The Labour Party has filed an appeal against a Federal High Court decision in Kano that invalidated Alex Otti’s bid for governor of Abia State in the March 18 governorship election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission and the Labour Party were the targets of the court’s decision in a case with the case number FHC/KN/CS/107/2023 that was filed by Mr. Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim.

The court found that the selection procedure that produced Alex Otti, the newly elected governor of Abia State, and other Labur Party candidates did not adhere to the rules outlined in the 2022 electoral act.

One of the key issues raised in the lawsuit was the Labour Party’s failure to provide INEC with a copy of its membership register at least 30 days before their primaries, which the court deemed to be a violation and rendered the entire selection process invalid.

The applicant further requested the court’s intervention to revoke the Certificate of Return given to each candidate running for the Labour Party and to order INEC to declare the first runner-up as the winner in each constituency where the Labour Party won.

According to Justice Yunusa, a party that has not complied with the electoral act cannot be considered to have a candidate in an election and cannot, therefore, be declared the winner. The votes given to the first defendant [Labour Party] are therefore wasted votes. The judge refused to order the issuance of a Certificate of Return to any participant in Abia State, citing the fact that “the parties that participated in Abia State are not parties before this court.”

Umeh Kalu, SAN, the legal representative for the Labour Party, responded to the decision by filing an appeal on May 22 asking the court to overturn the trial court’s decision.

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