Tribunal Affirms Ikpeazu’s Election As Abia Governor

The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia on Friday upheld the victory of Okezie Ikpeazu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the governor of Abia State.

The tribunal also dismissed the petition filed by Alex Otti of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).

Chairman of the panel, Justice Lekan Ogumonye while delivering a unanimous judgement held that the petitioner failed to prove his allegations of over-voting and non compliance with the electoral act in the conduct of the election.

 

Otti, Ogar Reject Result Of Abia Governorship Election, Say It’s A ‘Sham’

 

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Dr. Alex Otti and that of the All Progressive Congress, Dr. Uche Ogar in Abia State, have rejected the result of the governorship election.

At a joint press conference in Umuahia, the state capital, shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the results on Sunday, both candidates described the election as a ‘sham’.

The Returning Officer, Professor Damian Ozurumba, had declared Ikpeazu winner of the poll after he secured 261,127 votes, more than double the 99, 574 votes polled by Ogar and 64,366 votes polled by Otti.

Otti alleged that INEC once again, breached its guidelines, adding that the results do not represent the true wishes of the people.

Read Also: PDP’s Okezie Ikpeazu Re-Elected As Abia Governor

He further stated that any result that does not agree with the card readers will not be accepted.

Both candidates, therefore, gave INEC the next 24 hours to cancel the election, adding that both parties are willing to present themselves when the Commission is ready to conduct a free and fair election in the state.

 

PDP’s Okezie Ikpeazu Re-Elected As Abia Governor

Gov. Ikpeazu Says Christmas Is Season Of Giving

 

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has been declared the winner of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

The Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state, Professor Damian Ozurumba, declared him as the winner of the poll after he secured 261,127 votes, more than double the 99, 574 votes his closest rival, Dr Uche Ogah of the All Progressives Congress (APC) got.

Read Also: Otti, Ogar Reject Result Of Abia Governorship Election, Say It’s A ‘Sham’

Dr Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) finished third with 64,366 votes.

Appeal Court Reserves Judgment On Suit Challenging Ikpeazu’s Sack

okezie ikpeazu, Abia State, appeal court caseThe Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, has reserved judgment in an appeal filed by the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu.

Mr Ikpeazu is challenging the judgment of the Federal High Court, which sacked him as governor of the state.

Mr Ikpeazu, had filed the appeal against the judgment of Justice Okon Abang delivered on June 27.

Justice Abang had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to issue Ikpeazu’s challenger in the 2015 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), governorship primaries, Uche Ogah, a Certificate of Return after the court disqualified Mr Ikpeazu over alleged tax evasion.

The Appeal Court presided over by Justice Morenikeji Ogunwumiju last week dismissed the application of Alex Otti which sought to be joined in the matter as an interested party.

The five-man bench of the Court of Appeal also directed that parties to the case should not take further steps until judgment on the case is delivered.

Abia Governorship Election: Supreme Court Gives Reasons For Judgement

Supreme courtThe Supreme Court has given reasons behind its earlier verdict setting aside Court of Appeal’s judgment which sacked Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu.

In an unanimous decision, the panel of Supreme Court justices agreed that the Lower Court erred by declaring the candidate of All Peoples Grand Alliance, Alex Otti the winner of the governorship election .

The panel led by Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed held that the Appellate Court usurped the power of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which is the only organ empowered to cancel polling results.

The court also faults the Lower Court’s reliance on card reader for its judgment.

According to the Apex Court, the card reader machine has no statutory backing in Nigeria’s law and should not be used to determine a winner in any election.

The panel also held that the allegation on voting was not proved as the petitioner failed to tender voter’s register to substantiate his claims.

Abia Election: Appeal Court Declares Alex Otti Of APGA Winner

Alex OttiAn Appeal Court has declared the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr Alex Otti, as winner of the Abia State Governorship election.

The court, sitting in Owerri, the capital of Imo State, in its ruling on Thursday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to immediately return Dr Otti, as the rightful winner of the April election, having won majority of the votes cast during the polls.

In its unanimous ruling, the five-man panel of judges, presided over by Justice Oyebisi Omoleye, faulted the ruling of the Abia State Governorship Election Tribunal which upheld the election of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Okezie Ikpeazu, as the winner of the April governorship election.

‘Landmark Judgment’

The panel said there were established proofs of over voting and substantial non-compliance to electoral laws during the election in Osisioma, Isialangwa North and Obingwa Local Government Areas of the state and as such, unlawful votes were allotted to Dr Okezie Ikpeazu.

According to the panel, after subtracting the votes from the Isi-Alangwa, Osisioma and Obingwa, the PDP candidate was left with a total vote of 114,444, while the APGA candidate had 164,332 votes and should be returned as the rightful winner of the election.

The Appeal Court was filled to capacity by members and lawyers of the APGA and that of the Peoples Democratic Party to witness the final ruling of the Appellate court.

Reacting to the judgement, counsels to Dr. Otti lauded the judgement which they described as a ‘landmark and thoroughly analysed judgement’ but to the PDP legal team, the legal fireworks is not over. They expressed readiness to approach the Supreme Court.

 

APGA Rejects Abia State Governorship Tribunal Judgement

APGA in Abia StateThe All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has rejected the judgment of the Abia State Governorship Petition Tribunal that upheld the election of Okezie Ikpeazu.

After the judgment was delivered on Tuesday, the National Chairman of APGA, Mr Ike Oye, said that the party would “appeal to the highest court of jurisdiction until we reclaim our mandate”.

Mr Oye, however, urged all APGA supporters to remain calm and law abiding.

It was wild jubilation at the court premises and in the streets of Umuahia, the capital of the state, shortly after the Tribunal ruled in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party Governorship Candidate, Ikpeazu, striking out the petitions filed by APGA and its candidate, Alex Otti.

To forestall any break down of law, security were all on standby before the judgement was delivered.

The State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Emma Nwaka, said the Tribunal’s judgment was a justification of the votes cast by Abia State indigenes during the April 2015 governorship election.

Abia Governor-elect Promises To Carry All Along In Policy Making

Okezie IkpeazuAbia State Governor elect, Mr Okezie Ikpeazu has thanked residents of Abia State for their support and promised to run an all inclusive government where every citizen would be carry along in the policy making.

Mr Ikpeazu disclosed that there would not be any discrimination in governance and therefore called on all the politicians in the state to join hands together in building Abia State and ensure that their agenda and vision are cued to service of the people and the country at large.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Mr Ikpeazu, who contested on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), winner of the Abia State governorship election.

Mr Ikpeazu polled 264,713 to defeat the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, Alex Otti, who polled 180,882 votes.

The result was declared in the early hours of Sunday after the supplementary election of Saturday.

Election was held in all the areas earlier listed by INEC for the re-run election except in Umunneochi Local Government Area.

INEC had erroneously scheduled election there, which was not supposed to take place in the first instance because the Form, EC40G, was not filled which indicated that there was no problem in the area.

Abia State is one of the state where supplementary governorship election was held on Saturday after election of April 11 was declared inconclusive by INEC.

Other States are Imo and Taraba State.

NASS Election: Returning Officer Reveals Irregularities In Abia

electionsMore revelations have emerged on what transpired on the field during the just concluded National Assembly election in Abia State.

The latest is coming from the Returning Officer for Abia North Senatorial District, Dr. Ihekwaba Chukwugoziem, who revealed that the process was characterized by massive fraud and irregularities in the five Local Government Areas that make up the Abia North Senatorial District.

Dr. Chukwugoziem revealed that electoral and collation officers were forced by hoodlums to manipulate figures in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The Returning Officer said that he had advised the Resident Electoral Commissioner to organise a rerun in all five Local Government Areas.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Abia North senatorial candidate, Mao Ohuabunwa, and his All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) counterpart, David Ogba, have traded words over the National Assembly (NASS) election results released by INEC.

While the PDP candidate insists that the election results were genuine, the APGA candidate rejected the claim, saying the authentic results were yet to be declared.

Also, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the state, Anyim Nyerere, condemned the conduct and urged the electoral body to investigate the allegations of malpractice.

The Abia State Government has warned political parties and their candidates to refrain from using inciting statements capable of causing rampage among the party supporters thereby truncating the existing peace in the state.

Abia State Government Decries Politicians’ Use Of Inciting Statements

abia stateThe Abia State government has warned political parties and their candidates to refrain from using inciting statements capable of causing rampage among the party supporters thereby truncating the existing peace in the state.

The state Commissioner for Information, Dr Anthony Agbazuere, told Channels Television in Umuahia, the state capital, that the results as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are correct and anybody in doubt should channel their grievances to the appropriate quarters.

He was reacting to the claim by the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate who contested for the Abia Central Senatorial district with Governor Theodore Orji, that the election results announced for the zone were false and manipulated by the government in power.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Abia north senatorial candidate, Mao Ohuabunwa and his All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) counterpart, David Ogba have traded words over the National Assembly (NASS) results released by INEC. While the PDP candidate insists that the results were genuine, the APGA candidate rejected the claim, saying the authentic results were yet to be declared.

Also, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the election, Anyim Nyerere condemned the conduct and urged the electoral body to investigate the allegations of malpractice.

 

Diamond Bank set to buy European bank

Nigeria’s Diamond Bank is in talks to buy a niche European bank to tap into direct investment and trade flows from Europe into Nigeria, its chief executive, Alex Otti said on Tuesday according to Reuters.

Alex Otti also told an investor conference call that the bank expects to make an 18 percent return on equity in 2012 and a pretax profit of up to 30 billion naira ($190 mln), compared with a loss of 16.26 billion naira last year.

He said Diamond had received an approval in principle from Nigeria’s central bank for the acquisition and that it would not need to raise additional capital to complete the deal.

“We are not looking at buying a high street bank. It’s going to be a specialized bank that will complement our services,” he said. He did not disclose the name of the bank.

“We have a lot of business flows in that direction (Europe) and we use third parties to do those … we strongly believe that if we are successful it will add value to the bank,” Otti said.

Otti said Diamond had raised $170 million in debt this year, and was on track to boosting its total debt issued in 2012 to $500 million, including issuing a planned debut Eurobond at the end of the year, to boost capital adequacy to 17 percent.

Around $70 million of the capital already raised had come from the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, he said.

The mid-tier lender last week posted a pretax profit in the first nine months of the year to 23.2 billion naira ($148 mln), pushing its shares up 20 percent in two days, compared with a 6.9 billion naira loss in the same period last year.

Its share price has gained 125 percent so far this year.

“We have had to move (our operating profit) target to 55-60 billion naira by year-end. We believe we should be ending the year anywhere between 25 to 30 billion naira pretax profit,” Otti said.

Diamond Bank is aggressively seeking to grow its operations to be able to tap into infrastructure and consumer growth in Africa’s most populous nation. It planned to build extra 130 branches in two years time, to add to its existing 220, he said.