The candidature of the Abia State Governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti and all the candidates of the Labour Party in Abia and Kano States has been nullified by a Federal High Court sitting in Kano, presided over by Justice M N Yunusa.
The Kano court ruled that their emergence did not comply with the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act.
The Court in Suit No FHC/KN/CS/107/2023 filed by Mr Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim against the Labour Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), ruled that the failure of the Labour Party to submit its membership register to the INEC within 30 days before the party’s primaries renders the process invalid.
The Judge ruled: “The party that has not complied with the provisions of the electoral act cannot be said to have a candidate in an election and cannot be declared winner of an election; this being so, the votes credited to the 1st defendant is a wasted vote.”
There have been reports that the Labour Party had accused a “breakaway group” of the party led by acting National Chairman Lamidi Apapa of approaching a court in Kano State to nullify the recent electoral victories of the party.
The acting National Publicity Secretary of Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh, who raised the alarm said: “The Labour Party has been informed of an illegal attempt by a breakaway group in the party led by Lamidi Apapa to misguide a Kano state High court to invalidate all the elections won by the Labour Party in the just concluded general election.”
He alleged that “the suspended National Legal Adviser and a key member of the disgraced Apapa group, Samuel Akingbade Oyelekan, on Wednesday while the Presidential Appeal Tribunal was sitting in Abuja with all attentions focused on it, clandestinely sneaked out of Abuja to Kano state where he in collaboration with some members of the other political parties asked the court to invalidate all the elections won by the Labour Party, particularly, the national assembly in the 36 states and FCT on the ground that we didn’t submit register of voters to INEC.”
He stressed that Akingbade, who presented himself as representing the Labour Party, did not oppose the motion, thus compelling the helpless judge to reserve judgement for Thursday, (yesterday).
He urged the judiciary and all law enforcement agencies, including the police and the Department of State Services, DSS, to note that Akingbade and loyalists of Apapa no longer represent the party.
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