Head of the President Mohammadu Buhari’s Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption Professor Itse Sagay SAN has condemned the Court of Appeal ruling on Abia State that cancelled the governorship election results from Obingwa, Osisioma and Isialangwa North LGAs before arriving at declaring Alex Otti of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) winner of the election against the declaration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the duly elected governor of the South-East state.
Speaking in an exclusive interview New Telegraph, Professor Sagay, a Constitutional Lawyer, admitted that, though he has not read the judgement, but stressed that based on what he heard about the cancellation of three LGAs: Obingwa, Osisioma and Isialangwa and subtraction made were based on over voting and card reader incident is dangerous.
“Though it is very difficult for me to conclude but from what I heard, the implication was that based on Zamfara State Supreme Court judgment on over- voting issue, where it ruled that Card Reader has no binding effect over the electoral act. If the decision of Abia State election was based on over voting and card reader incidents, then it means that the decision of the Appeal court concerning Abia State is in sort of danger, he said.
He further said 300, 000 genuine voters is quite large and if anything has gone wrong in those constituencies or LGAs, the best thing to do was to order for a supplementary election.
Also speaking on the same vein with The City Reporters, Barrister Ebun Adegboruwa who is worried that the entire country and the legal profession are becoming totally endangered by the decisions of the election petition tribunals and Appeal Court, said that the Court of Appeal ruling on Abia State is unacceptable.
His words: “It’s only an emerging scenario from the 2015 elections in particular and it is very worrisome. The judgment of the court of Appeal in respect to Abia governorship election is very unacceptable. It is therefore important for the Supreme Court to take the election petitions in Abia.
According to him, the worst that would have happened is to allow the people of the cancelled three local governments – Obingwa, Osisioma and Isialangwa – to exercise the right again and to choose between Okezie Ikpeazu and Alex Otti and not for the court to take away victory from the Governor and then passed it to the opponent
“It is totally unacceptable, I verily believed that if the election decision of the Appeal Court in Abia State relates to over-voting then the opponent should not benefit from that exercise because that will mean that there is an irregularity. A decision that affirms over-voting cannot go to the benefit of the opponent.
“I believed that at the appropriate time, given the interference of the CJN, these decisions in respect to election in Abia State and in particular Rivers State would be upturned by the Supreme Court,” he added.