It’s exercise in futility – Labour party
Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Abia Governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti, has dismissed his purported sack by a Federal High Court sitting in Kano, as baseless and of no moment.
Similarly, the Abia State chapter of the Labour Party, has dismissed the judgment as an exercise in futility.
Justice M. N Yunusa of Kano High Court, had in the controversial judgment, voided the candidature of the Labour Party’s governorship candidate, saying the party did not comply with the provisions of the 2023 Electoral Act in his nomination.
The suit marked FHC/KN/CS/107/2023 was filed by Mr Ibrahim Haruna against Labour Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The court ruled that the failure of the party to submit its membership register to INEC 30 days before its primaries rendered the process invalid.
Otti in a swift reaction, urged Abians not to panic over the said judgment, which according to him, is a “mere waste of time.”
The former banker who said arrangements for his swearing-in on May 29 were moving as planned, said enemies of the state would not be allowed to subvert the people’s will.
Speaking through his Media Aide, Ferdinand Ekeoma, the Governor-Elect said the he was not losing any sleep over the said judgment.
“It has no basis, and nobody should bother about it. If they had a case why didn’t they file it in Abia?
“Even the one they filed in Kano, they intentionally did not want to join us. The judge knows that, and did not pass any verdict on us because Otti was not joined.”
The Governor-Elect explained that similar cases had already been filed against two Labour Party House of Representatives candidates in Abia but were all dismissed even by the Supreme Court.
“The court had ruled on similar suit before the election and dismissed it. Similar suit was filled against two of our House of Representatives candidates – Obi Aguocha, and Ginger Onwusibe which was adjudicated up to the Supreme Court.
“So, when they could not file this suit again in Abia, they sneaked to Kano, and somebody may have deceived or defrauded them.
“It’s just a waste of time.
PDP had also brought such matter against Peter Obi and the court ruled that it had no locus in it.
“The qualifications for one to stand election for governor or president have already been clearly stated in the Constitution of Nigeria. Non-submission of party register to INEC cannot override the constitution of the country.
“So, those behind this suit know that similar matter had been adjudicated upon before. That’s why they didn’t come back to file it in Abia.
“They intentionally didn’t want to join us thinking they could get a black market judgment. But the Judge knew the consequences, and that is why he dodged it.
“They can look for another court to join us, and it’s only when they serve us that we can prove to them that similar suit had been dismissed before.”
He said his major preoccupation was his forthcoming swearing-in, adding that he would not be distracted.
“There is no cause for alarm. My inauguration on May 29 is going on as scheduled. Abians should not bother.”
In a separate interview, Chairman of Labour Party in the state, Ceekay Igara, said Abians should not panic over the black market judgment.
He explained that the party was not even served with the originating summons, arguing that the judgment has no foundation to stand.
He accused the Apapa-led faction of Labour Party, of conniving with enemies of democracy to destroy the party.
The Labour Party chairman, however, said that the party’s legal team had been contacted to deal with the matter.