Court sacks Labour Party’s only gov-elect 9 days to inauguration

A Federal High Court in Kano has nullified all the votes that Alex Otti, Labour Party (LP) candidate, secured in the March 18 governorship election.

Daily Trust reports that it is only in Abia that the party secured a governorship seat in the 2023 elections.

The court also annulled the candidature of all the contestants that LP fielded in Abia and Kano states during the elections.

The court in a judgement delivered on Thursday but, which was sighted by Daily Trust on Friday, held that the party in the conduct of it activities especially as regards to the primary elections in Abia and Kano state did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The judge, Justice M.N. Yunusa, in the suit instituted by one Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim against LP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) held that the electoral umpire “was bound to insist receiving the Register of Members of the 1st Defendant (Labour party) and that of other political parties registered in Nigeria in both hard and soft copies in Kano State and the rest of the 35 States of the Federation and the FCT at least 30 days before the 1st Defendant conduct its Primary Elections for its candidates that participated in the General Election of 25th of February, 2023 and 18th of March, 2023, respectively in Kano State and throughout the Federation in compliance with the provisions of section 77(3) of the Electoral Act, 2022.”

He, therefore, held that the failure of the party to submit its register of members in Kano and Abia is in crass breach of the provisions of section 77(3) of the Electoral Act, 2022 and that the purported Primary Elections of the party is invalid, null and void and of no effect.

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The judge further held that “the fundamentally flawed Primary Elections” of the party could not have then produce a qualified candidate that participated in the General Elections as held on the 25th of February, 2023 and 18th of March, 2023 respectively for all the elective positions in Kano State and Abia State.”

The judge therefore ruled that ”the votes cast for all the candidates of the 1st Defendant in Kano State and Abia State in the General Elections of 2023 are wasted votes.”

Two days ago, the Labour Party had raised the alarm that a faction of the party was seeking to annul the victory that the party secured in the 2023 elections.

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