Tribunal Sacks Former Abia Governor, Orji Kalu

Tribunal Sacks Former Abia Governor, Orji Kalu

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The National and State
Assembly election petitions tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, has
ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a
supplementary election within 90 days in eight wards in Arochukwu Local
Government Area
and several polling units in Ohafia and Isukwuato LGAs where votes were
cancelled during senatorial election in Abia North senatorial district. The three-man
tribunal led by Justice Cornelius Akintayo ordered the supplementary election
while giving judgment in a petition brought before it by the candidate of
the Peoples Democratic Party in the election, Mao Ohuabunwa, who had
challenged the victory of the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu, in the Senatorial election.
Kālu was declared winner of the election by the returning officer, Dr. Charles
Anumudu, which Ohuabunwa described as “excess electoral fraud and broad
daylight robbery. “He, therefore, approached the tribunal to seek justice.
Until the annulment, Kalu was the Senator representing Abia North at the National
Assembly.
The tribunal also
ordered a rerun election for the Abia North Senatorial District. Kālu was
elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress and was
inaugurated as federal lawmaker for the 9th National Assembly. Last Thursday,
the tribunal had dismissed a petition brought before it by another individual —
candidate of the All Grassroots Alliance, Anagha Anagha, challenging Kalu’s
victory in the Abia North senatorial zone election. Anagha had challenged
Kalu’s victory on the ground that he (Anagha) was excluded from contesting the
election by the Independent National Electoral Commission. But the three-man
tribunal led by Justice Cornelius Akintayo, in a unanimous judgment on
Thursday, ruled that the petitioner had failed to prove his allegation of
exclusion by INEC.
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The tribunal also held
that Anaga did not have anything to prove that he was a candidate in the
election and therefore had no locus standi to challenge the election.The
election tribunal therefore scolded the petitioner’s lawyer for bringing the
case to the court in the first place without ascertaining that his client was a
candidate of AGA for the election.The tribunal awarded a cost of N500,000
against him in favour of the respondents.The tribunal had earlier granted an
application by AGA, seeking to strike out its name from the petition on the
grounds that the petitioner was never nominated by the party.

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