An Appeal Court in Owerri declared on New Year’s Eve that the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate Alex Otti, was the winner of the Abia State governorship election, overturning the verdict of the Abia State Governorship Election Tribunal which upheld the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Okezie Ikpeazu, as the winner of the April governorship (s)election.
Ikpeazu has vowed to challenge that decision at the Supreme Court, as his supporters took to the streets of the state capital Umuahia and its commercial centre Aba in protest of the Appeal Court verdict.
But a source in the Abia State PDP informed us that Otti won the (s)election “fair and square”. Even though Ikpeazu has since been trying to “solidify his [stolen] mandate” in his six months in office by cleaning up and constructing roads in Aba and environs, in order to give himself a chance of winning any possible rerun of the (s)election, the majority of state’s voters did not back him during the April (s)election.
This was primarily because he was handpicked by the former governor Theodore Orji aka “Ochendo” and currently representing Abia Central in the Senate.
The source said the people of Abia “see Ochendo as a thief and that he would control Ikpeazu”. Ochendo allegedly also reached an agreement with Ikpeazu for the former governor to be paid huge sums monthly from the state’s coffers.
As a result, Abia voters preferred Alex Otti in order to cut the links with Ochendo, who many believed mismanaged the state and looted its treasury for eight years.