Following the crisis rocking Abia State governorship position, the candidate in the last Abia State Governorship election who ran under the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Dr Alex Otti had approached the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal, seeking that he be joined in as an interested party in the judgement of the Abuja Federal High Court.
|Dr. Alex Otti|
Recall that justice Okon Abang had on June 27, sacked Ikpeazu over tax evasion and had ordered the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, to issue his challenger in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, 2015 primary election, Uche Ogah with certificate of return which was done.
However, a five man panel of justices of the appellate court, in a unanimous decision, on Friday held that Otti and his party lacked the “locus standi” to benefit from the appeal regarding the lower court’s judgement, stressing that the matter bordered on qualification of Ikpeazu to participate in the governorship primary election.
Describing Otti as “a middlesome interloper and bus-body” the court held that neither him nor his party had the legal right to meddle in an intra-party affair, since the issue is related to the qualification of candidates to be nominated or sponsored by the PDP.
Relying on section 87(9) of the Electoral Act, 2010, the appellate court said only those that participated in the PDP primary could question the outcome. “The applicant who is a member of another political party has no locus to query process of nomination of another party.
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The court added, “He is merely a busy body who has no locus to appeal against the whole decision of the lower court regarding the governorship primary election conducted by the 2nd Respondent on December 8, 2014.
“The applicants (Otti and APGA) had the onus to show the interest they have and how the judgement of the lower court adversely affected them.
“The applicants do not have sufficient legal grievance. They only have general interest which is equal to that of any other candidate that participated at the election.
“They are neither necessary nor desirable parties in this appeal. It is left for the 1st and 3rd Respondents ((Ogah and Ikpeazu) to slug it out.
“Moreover, the applicants could not have been joined as an interested party by the lower court.”
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