Why Tribunal Nullified Orji Kalu’s Election as Abia North Senator
A National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abia State Monday nullified the election of Orji Uzor Kalu as the Senator representing Abia North.
The tribunal also ordered for a rerun election for the Abia North Senatorial District.
In a unanimous judgement delivered by a member of the tribunal’s panel, Justice I.P.C Igwe, the panel held that the petitioner had successfully proved his allegation of substantial non-compliance with the guidelines on conduct of elections.
The panel noted that since all parties were in agreement that elections took place peacefully in all parts of the senatorial zone, the first respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), failed in its duty to ensure that all polling units were duly recorded in the relevant ward and local government result sheets.
The tribunal frowned at the exclusion of over 30,000 votes from Arochukwu Local Government Area alone without INEC giving a good reason for the development, noting that the figure was much higher than the 10,000 votes with which the second respondent, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, was leading the petitioner.
It therefore ordered supplementary elections in all the affected areas within 90 days and the results duly collated and winner announced.
In his reaction, Mike Onyeka, counsel to Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, hailed the judgement, noting that it had heightened his confidence in the judiciary.
Kalu was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and was inaugurated alongside other federal lawmakers for the 9th National Assembly.
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