The Appellate Court sitting in Owerri, capital of Imo State, has engraved its name in gold and embossed an epitaph for all seasons. As the last day in the month of December was burning out feverishly, the Justices of the Appeal Court ruled in their Landmark judgment that Dr Alex Otti, the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) Governorship candidate was indeed the winner of the election conducted last year throughout the country including Abia State.
Delivering her judgment, the Presiding Judge, Justice Oyebisi Omoleye was emphatic in the court orders to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Swear-in Dr Alex Otti immediately as Governor, the Justice roared in her directive to INEC.
Said Justice Omoleye,” After subtracting the votes from Isiala Ngwa, Osisioma and Obingwa, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Candidate is left with a total votes of 114,444, while APGA candidate has 164,332 votes and should be returned as the rightful winner of the election,” the Appellate Court Justice thundered out clear, unambiguous and very convincing to the crowded court.
She maintained that the ”court decided to cancel the election in three Council areas as a result of anomalies and subsequently, the judgment of the Tribunal which upheld the election of the PDP candidate , is hereby set aside”.
The entire length and breadth of Abia State often referred to in local parlance as ‘God’s Own State’, erupted in an ecstasy of unstoppable joy with streets from Owerri to Umuahia and emptying into Aba the popular Enyimba City, lined up with enthusiastic Abians from all persuations dancing and drumming in support of a popular mandate taken away but now restored.
It therefore beats one’s imagination to see rented crowds and charlatans, surrogates and hangers on disturbing the peace of Abians criticizing a most obvious charter of truth.
It was indisputable who won that election. Political watchers and pundits were not oblivious to the alleged massive rigging, gangsterism, opprobrium and public assault orchestrated by the PDP pre and post election to cow APGA, Abians in general and of course Dr Otti, who had convincingly trounced Dr Okezie Ikpeazu of the PDP at that Governorship polls last year.
Walk the streets of any of the eastern states- Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi and Abia, the subject of discourse after that election, unmistakably centerd on the alleged rape of justice and overt robbery of electoral victory of APGA and its flag bearer Dr Otti.
The Court wants to right the wrong, and of course it did just the right thing not caring whose ox is gored.
Incredibly outpouring of joy with the conventional ‘V’ Victory sign renting the air and dotting all over Abia State, it becomes imperative that politicians must learn to abide by the rules, since the just will always be vindicated no matter the illusory and pyrrhic victory.
An astute banker and the immediate former Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank, the entry of Dr Otti in the political firmament of Abia State was greeted with plausible excitement by the electorate, who undoubtedly needed no soothsayer to tell them that the track record of Dr Otti, was all they were waiting for all these years to clear the Augean stable so messed up that Aba amongst other cities still wallow in crates, gullies of roads, to name but a few of the heartless neglect by these shameless rulers.
Of course there was trepidation at the camps of the opposition even some of Dr Otti’s party members, aware of Dr Otti’s impeccable credentials and pedigree. Efforts were made to silence this golden man of Abia. He was maligned, harassed, threatened and there were reports of alleged assassination attempts, but none could stop the Hand of God.
Dr Otti’s political manifestos, focus and direction are gladly in tandem with those of the new APGA National Chairman Dr Sir Victor Oye, who since taking over the mantle of leadership of the party, had begun an aggressive and sustained rebuilding of the beleaguered party.
Since becoming the National Chairman, APGA has continued to record appreciable success with several decampees from other parties throughout the country pitching tents with APGA.
Abians no doubt voted overwhelmingly for Dr Otti’s APGA because they are piqued that a State imbued by nature and providence with all the resources, human development and technical know-how, should remain crawling on its fours instead of bracing up to assert its common refrain of ‘Japan of Africa and indeed the Third World.
Aba City is populated with ingenuity of artisans in their droves. They certainly need a combination of Dr Oye National Chairman and Dr Otti, men of sterling qualities of leadership, courageous and have the patriotic fervor to get Aba and Abia out of a boxed corner of piety, filth and degradation.
If Dr Otti did it at Diamond Bank, he would doubly fix Abia State and perfect the peoples’ expectations at Umuahia Government House.
The epic judgment of the Appellate Court would remain a definite and defining statement of the beauty of the rule of law.
Dr Sylvester Ogbuagu Mbibi firstname.lastname@example.org