Connect with us

Politics

Alex Otti’s Long walk To Abia Govt House

Published

on

At last, Alex Otti of the Labour Party on Wednesday achieved his long-term ambition of becoming the Abia State Governor.

Undaunted by his past failures, the former Managing Director of Diamond Bank now politician polled a total of 175,466 votes to floor his closest rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Okey Ahiwe, who scored 88,526 votes.

Advertisement

The Independent National Electoral Commission Returning Officer, Prof Nnenna Oti, declared Otti winner of the Abia State governorship election after she announced the controversial Obingwa Local Government Area results.

Otti’s Labour Party won in 10 LGAs, the PDP in six LGAs, and Young Peoples Party in one LGA. The Returning Officer, therefore, declared the LP candidate the winner at the INEC headquarters in Umuahia, the state capital.

Born on February 18, 1965, the former banker is not a novice in the political arena as he had earlier in 2015 gunned for Abia’s highest political office and declared the winner before the judiciary handed the baton to the outgoing Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of the PDP.

Advertisement

He had then contested under the All Progressives Grand Alliance. The Court of Appeal had in its judgement in December 2015 removed Ikpeazu and declared Otti the winner of the April 11 and 25 governorship poll before the Supreme Court upturned the verdict and restored Ikpeazu as governor.

READ ALSO: Your Votes Broke Gates Of Hell, Otti Tells Abia Voters

Otti, who hails from the Isiala-Ngwa South Local Government Area, had his secondary school education at Ngwa High School, Aba and Secondary Technical School, Okpuala Ngwa in Abia State. After his secondary school education, he graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Economics in 1988 from the University of Port Harcourt. He also earned an MBA degree from the University of Lagos in 1994.

Advertisement

Road to Government House

On April 17, 2022, Otti, then a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, threw his hat into the ring for the state’s top job.

Otti, who made his intentions known on Easter Day, said his ambition would mark the end of the crucifixion of the state. During his declaration, he explained that his quest to change the political trajectory of the state informed his decision to abandon his flourishing banking career as a managing director to join politics in 2013.

Advertisement

We have resolved to bring change to Abia State by pursuing clear economic policies that will bring prosperity to Abians,” Otti promised.

READ ALSO: 5 Facts About LP Candidate, Alex Otti Who Ended PDP’s Reign In Abia

Surprisingly, on May 2022, the renowned banker withdrew from the APC governorship primary election in the state. He had based his withdrawal on claims that the election outcome had already been predetermined by vested interests.

Advertisement

He alleged that a memo from the National Legal Adviser of the party to the state chairman dated May 18, 2022, had imposed a strange sharing formular on the APC aspirants in Abia.

He said, “… it’s my firm belief that anyone who wants to govern Abia State and Abians must be someone who has been democratically chosen by the people, and not one imposed by undemocratic or external forces pursuing self-serving agenda that would undermine the welfare and wellbeing of Abians at the long run.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Labour Party’s Alex Otti Wins Abia Gov’ship Poll

Advertisement

“In light of the above-stated facts, I hereby withdraw from the predetermined governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress slated to take place in the next few days.”

On May 28, 2022, barely 72 hours after withdrawing from the APC governorship primary, Otti formally joined the Labour Party. He joined LP with a factional chairman of the APC in the state, Chief Acho Obioma.

On June 8, 2022, Otti won the LP governorship ticket after he polled a total number of 454 votes to emerge unopposed during the party’s governorship primary.

Advertisement

He said, “You have started a movement which no cabal can stop. We are the party the majority of people who deserve good leadership in the state are looking for.

“The symbol of our party is human beings. I, therefore, urge you to join me as we work hard to win the 2023 governorship election and make life easier for our people,” Otti said in his acceptance speech.

On December 28, 2022, Otti in his Christmas and New Year message to the state vowed to retrieve his mandate which, he alleged, was stolen in 2015.

Advertisement

According to him, the votes of the people would enable him to change the narrative and return Abia to the path of peace, growth, and development.

Between 2015 when the mandate you passionately and unanimously gave to us was brazenly snatched away by the oppressors and today, I have neither slowed down nor withdrawn from asking critical questions and taking practical measures geared towards ensuring that those who have seized our Commonwealth in Abia are not allowed to continually enjoy underserved affluence while insulting our sensibilities.

READ ALSO: Abia Guber Poll: Otti Wins In 10 LGAs, PDP 5

Advertisement

“On my side, as your son, brother, friend and servant-leader seeking to render selfless and people-oriented service to our state and her people, I am prepared more than ever to align with other like minds to ensure that those holding our state down do not have any single opportunity to steal your vote in 2023 more so, given the change in the electoral laws and process.

“Remember, no freedom has ever been achieved easily anywhere, hence the need for us to increase our resolve and redouble our efforts aimed at reclaiming and rebuilding our state for the good of all,” Otti said.

True to his words, Otti was declared the governor-elect on Wednesday after he polled the most votes to defeat his rivals from other political parties.

Advertisement

The expectation of a large number of the Abia population is that he will walk his talk and change the narrative in governance delivery in the state many say has not been fortunate in that regard, the potential for growth and development notwithstanding.
PUNCH

Advertisement
Advertisement
Comments

Politics

Court Admits Final Results In LP, Obi’s Petition

Published

on

By

The Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, tendered in evidence on Wednesday the final results for the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

The national document known as Form EC8D(a) was tendered by Paul Annanaba, SAN, on behalf of the party and Obi as part of the evidence in support of the petition protesting the outcome of the February 25 elections at the Presidential Election Petition Court.

Advertisement

The LP and its candidate, Peter Obi, are challenging the conduct of the presidential election in which Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The 1st to 4th respondents in the suit are; INEC, Tinubu, the vice-president, Kassim Shettima, and the APC.

The respondents, through their legal representatives on Wednesday, all agreed to the presentation of the national results for all the states and the FCT.

Advertisement

READ ALSO: Tribunal: How Peter Obi Rigged Out Atiku In Anambra – Witness

Following no objection from the respondents, the five-man panel of the PEPC headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani admitted the national document as evidence in the petition by Obi.

In the same development, the petitioners tendered, as evidence in support of their petition against Tinubu’s return, form EC8Cs from 13 states: Bayelsa, Benue, Cross-river, Ebonyi, Edo, Lagos, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Ekiti and Delta.

Advertisement

The form EC8C is used for collating election results at the local government level. The results recorded at ward levels are entered into this form. But the respondents, through their counsel, all objected to the admissibility of the form EC8Cs. They informed the court that they would explain the reasons behind their objections in their final written addresses.

However, the court admitted the forms in evidence and marked them as exhibits. Thereafter, it adjourned further hearings on the petition to Thursday, June 8, 2023.

Objection to PDP’s subpoenaed witness

Advertisement

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the last election, Atiku Abubakar, called its first subpoenaed witness at the Presidential Election Petition Court on Wednesday.

In a petition marked CA/PEPC/05/2023, Atiku and the PDP are challenging the outcome of the presidential election that produced Tinubu as president.

At the resumed hearing, counsel for the PDP, Chris Uche, SAN, informed the court that the petitioners are set to call their first subpoenaed witness, who is an ad hoc employee of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Advertisement

However, counsel for the respondents in the case, INEC, Tinubu and the APC, objected to taking the testimony of the witness.

As soon as the witness entered the witness box, and barely before he could take his oath, counsel to INEC, A.B. Mahmoud, SAN, rose in objection to the hearing of the witness.

He informed the court that he was only served this morning with the statement of the witness and, as such, would have to study the statement to enable him to carry out a thorough cross-examination.

Advertisement

Similarly, Tinubu’s lawyer, Akin Olujimi SAN, and APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, shared the same view and opposed the move by the petitioners.

Responding, Uche argued that there was nothing strange in the statement of the witness to warrant an adjournment.

He pleaded with the court to allow at least one of the subpoenaed witnesses to make judicious use of their allotted time.

Advertisement

The chairman of the five-man panel of PEPC, Justice Tsammani, proposed to stand down the trial for 30 minutes to enable respondents to look at the documents and thereby cross-examine the first subpoenaed witness.

INEC counsel, however, insisted that the witness cannot be taken on Wednesday because the witness “is said to be an Ad-hoc staff of the Commission,” and as such, he would have to go and look at INEC’s records to enable him to prepare properly.

Following the respondents’ assertions, Uche urged the court to adjourn till tomorrow, June 8, for the calling of the three subpoenaed witnesses.

Advertisement

Earlier, the PDP and Atiku called their 11th witness, the PDP chairman, Anambra, Ndubuisi Nwobu, to testify before the court.

The witness told the court during cross-examination by counsel for APC, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, that the results were disputed at the lower levels before they arrived at the state level.

He added that they collated the results because they didn’t have any other alternatives.

Advertisement

When asked if he put that in his witness statement on oath, he said it was not possible to write down everything that happened in the statement.

The court will also continue the hearing in the PDP and Atiku’s petition on Thursday, June 8, 2023.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Politics

Tribunal: INEC, Others Object To PDP’s Witness

Published

on

By

The Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate in the last election, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday, called their first subpoenaed witness at the Presidential Election Petition Court.

In a petition marked CA/PEPC/05/2023, Atiku and the PDP are challenging the outcome of the presidential election which produced Tinubu as the president.

Advertisement

At the resumed hearing, counsel for the PDP, Chris Uche, SAN, informed the court that the petitioners are set to call its first subpoenaed witness who is an Adhoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

However, counsel to the respondents in the case namely; INEC, Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress objected to taking the testimony of the witness.

READ ALSO: Tribunal: How Peter Obi Rigged Out Atiku In Anambra – Witness

Advertisement

As soon as the witness entered the witness box and barely before he could take his oath, counsel to INEC, A.B. Mahmoud, SAN, rose in objection to the hearing of the witness.

He informed the court that he was only served this morning with the statement of the witness and as such would have to study the statement to enable him to carry out a thorough cross-examination.

Similarly, Tinubu’s lawyer, Akin Olujimi, SAN, and APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, shared the same view and opposed the move by the petitioners.

Advertisement

Responding, Uche argued that there was nothing strange in the statement of the witness to warrant an adjournment.

He pleaded with the court to take at least one of the subpoenaed witnesses to make judicious use of their allotted time.

READ ALSO: How Nigeria Can Repay Its Debts Within 90 Days – Jimoh Ibrahim

Advertisement

Chairman of the five-man panel of PEPC, Justice Haruna Tsammani, proposed to stand down the trial for 30 minutes to enable respondents to look at the documents and thereby cross-examine the first subpoenaed witness.

INEC, however, insisted that the witness cannot be taken today because the witness “is said to be an Adhoc staff of the commission” and as such he would have to go and look at INEC’s records to enable him to prepare properly.

Following the respondents’ assertions, Uche urged the court to adjourn till tomorrow, June 8, for the calling of the three subpoenaed witnesses.

Advertisement

Earlier, the PDP and Atiku called their 11th witness, the Anambra PDP chairman, Ndubuisi Nwobu, to testify before the court.

According to The PUNCH, the witness told the court during cross-examination by counsel for APC, Lateef Fagbemi SAN that the results were disputed at the lower levels before they arrived at the state level.

He added that they collated the results because they didn’t have any other alternative.

Advertisement

When asked if he put that in his witness statement on oath, he said it was not possible to write down everything that happened in the statement.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Politics

Tribunal: How Peter Obi Rigged Out Atiku In Anambra – Witness

Published

on

By

A witness of Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in the February 25th presidential elections, Ndubuisi Nwobu has revealed how his candidate was rigged out by Labour Party’s Presidential candidate, Peter Obi in Anambra state.

Nwobu told the presidential election tribunal, Wednesday that “magic happened to the votes of the PDP candidate at different collation centres.”

Advertisement

In the results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission, Peter Obi scored 584, 621 votes in Anambra; Atiku polled 9,036 votes in the state and Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress scored 5, 111 votes.

During proceedings, Nwobu who is Anambra PDP chairman and also the state collation agent of the party told the court that after the counting of votes, presiding officers refused to upload the results.

READ ALSO: Presidential Tribunal: Peter Obi Tenders Results Of 8 More States In evidence

Advertisement

He also said he visited about 30 polling units out of the 4,720 polling units in the state on election day.

He said he was forced to sign the result sheet of the election at the state collation centre because he wouldn’t have been given a copy if he didn’t.

“I signed the result sheet when it was obvious that without signing, a copy would not be made available to me,” Nwobu said.

Advertisement

“Results were entered at polling units. But, every effort made to get the presiding officer to upload it on IREV proved abortive.”

When asked if result sheets were signed by agents of the PDP at polling units before there were taken to the collation centre, Nwobu said “yes”.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Peter Obi Speaks On Alleged Visit To Tinubu At Defence House

Advertisement

They were taken to the collation centre at the ward level. That is where magic started happening,” he said.

“There were problems at the polling units with presiding officers.”

He said in some instances, he had to intervene to prevent voters and other party agents from attacking INEC officials.

Advertisement

Even in certain instances, I had to intervene to ensure that some of the polling officers were not attacked by voters and other political party agents,” Nwobu said.

Nwobu is Atiku’s eleventh witness to testify before the five-member panel headed by Haruna Tsammani.
PUNCH

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending