ABIA NORTH SENATORIAL SEAT: DETAIL ON HOW TRIBUNAL NULLIFIED SEN. ORJI KALU’S VICTORY
The three-man Tribunal panel sitting in Umuahia on Monday 9th September 2019, invalidated the victory of the Senator representing Abia North Senatorial Zone in the National Assembly, saying his purported victory was a hoax.
The presiding judge, Justice Cornelius Akintayo while ruling on the matter in a suit brought before it by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, hinted that the election which was conducted on the 23rd of February 2019, was marred by massive rigging, none compliance with electoral guidelines, as well over voting which characterized the poll.
Justice Akintayo explained that evidence abound which shows that the number of over voting was in excess of more than 10,000 plus, stressing that the results collated in polling units in Isu, Eleoha, Arochukwu 1, Arochukwu 2 and 3 and Ohafia were not entered in form EC8A by INEC officials.
He further said that INEC in its witnesses failed to show concrete evidence why results in the entire Arochukwu LGA, Ohafia and some units across the Senatorial district were not collated.
The presiding judge therefore opined that the declaration of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu is invalid by reason of non compliance with electoral guidelines in the conduct of the election.
Continuing, he declared that election in Isu ward, Eleoha, Arochukwu ward 1,2 and 3 in Arochukwu LGA as well as Ndiagbo Nkporo polling units such as unit 10, and Ndielu Nkporo polling unit 01,2,3,4 and 5 all in Ohafia LGA has been nullified and ordered INEC to conduct fresh election in the affected areas within 90 days.
Reacting to the verdict, Counsel to the petitioner, Barrister Mike Onyeka expressed joy with the decision, saying that the truth has finally been unravelled.
Barrister Onyeka thanked the Panel for being fare and upright and assuring that his Client will win the re-run election when conducted.