Appeal Court Victory Should End Election Litigation, Governor Otu Tells Opposition

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Governor Bassey Otu says his victory at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, on Wednesday, November 22 should bring to a close election litigation over the governorship as it is a clear indication of the people’s mandate and overwhelming support Cross Riverians gave to him at the election.

The Governor, while applauding the industry and rigour of the Appeal Court ruling, said he was confident of the judicial outcome, knowing that the electorate had overwhelmingly voted for him during the March 18 governorship election.

According to Governor Otu, the affirmation of the court victory has given him an added impetus to serve the State and move forward with his People First Agenda, while urging the opposition to accept the verdict of the court in good faith and join hands with his administration in moving the State forward.

“The ruling of the Court of Appeal today is a welcome development and affirms that we were overwhelmingly voted in by the people on March 18, 2023.

“This ruling should bring an end to litigation on the outcome of the governorship election. For those in the opposition, especially my brother, Prof. Sandy Onor, I once again offer you a hand of friendship. Come and join my administration so that together we can move our state forward and bring about the dividends of democracy.

“My administration is fully reenergised to deliver on the People First Mandate, which is on track to repositioning our state for effective and responsive governance. I solicit for the support and patience of all Cross Riverians as we navigate the challenging times towards the Cross River of our dream.

“Let me reassure all our citizens that we are working round the clock to ensure that we deliver the best governance for our people. It is important also to note that reparations are in top gear for a robust and successful Calabar festival, while we continue to address other socio-economic and developmental issues,” the Governor stated.

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos affirmed the decision of the Election Petition Tribunal of September 26 upholding the election of Governor Bassey Otu and his deputy, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey as duly elected.

Senator Otu was declared winner of the polls by INEC having polled a total of 258,619 votes winning in 15 of the 18 local governments of the state to defeat his closest rival, Senator Sandy Onor of the Peoples Democratic Party, who garnered 179,636 votes.