Breaking: Court Sacks Abia Governor-Elect, Alex Otti

A Federal High Court in Kano has nullified the candidature of Dr Alex Otti and all the candidates of the Labour Party in Abia State, Kano and the rest of Nigeria for failing to comply with the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act.

The court, in a judgment delivered by Justice M N Yunusa on May 18, 2023, ruled that the failure of the Labour Party to submit its membership register to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) within 30 days before their primaries rendered the process invalid.

The judgment was in response to a suit filed by Mr Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim against the Labour Party and INEC. Ibrahim had argued that the Labour Party’s failure to submit its membership register to INEC violated Section 87(1) of the Electoral Act, which requires political parties to do so at least 30 days before their primaries.

The court agreed with Ibrahim and held that the Labour Party’s failure to comply with the law rendered its primaries invalid. As a result, the court nullified the candidature of all the candidates who emerged from the primaries, including Dr Alex Otti, who was elected as the Labour Party’s candidate for the Abia State governorship election.

The court’s judgment is a major setback for the Labour Party, which had been hoping to make significant gains in the 2023 general elections. It remains to be seen whether the party will appeal the judgment.