Tribunal Sacks Former Gov Orji Uzor Kalu As Senator

The National and State House of Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal, in Umuahia yesterday nullified the election of the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu, for Abia North Senatorial District.

In a judgement, which was delivered on Monday, a member of the three-member tribunal, Justice I.P.C Igwe, said the petitioner, Mao Ohuabunwa, a former senator, successfully proved his allegation against Orji Kalu, where he insisted that his election lacked compliance with the electoral guidelines.

Mr Ohuabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had approached the tribunal to nullify the election of Mr Kalu, who was a former governor of Abia State, contested the February 23 2019 election on the platform of the APC.

The petitioner opined that the Independent National Electoral Commission, who declared Kalu the winner, failed to comply with the provisions of the amended 2010 Electoral Act.

According to Ohuabunwa, INEC had excluded some votes while collating the results, and that the commission also disenfranchised many registered voters in the constituency.

The tribunal said since all the parties agreed that elections were peaceful in the entire senatorial district, INEC failed in its duty to ensure that all the unit results were duly recorded in the relevant ward, and local government result sheets. It frowned at the exclusion of over 30,000 votes from Arochukwu Local Government Area, without valid reason.

The tribunal opined that the excluded figure was higher than the over 10,000 votes, which was the margin of lead between Mr Kalu and the petitioner.

The panel therefore nullified the election and ordered a supplementary election in the affected areas within 90 days.
In a reaction to the ruling, counsel for Mr Ohuabunwa, Mike Onyeka, told NAN, that he the judgement had increased his confidence in the judiciary.
“I feel a little more confident in the judiciary because what has been decided is the justice of the matter,” he said.

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