UMUAHIA – The National and State Assembly election petitions tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, has sacked Senator Orji Kalu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the senator representing Abia North Senatorial District, Abia State.
The tribunal also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 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.
NEWS FLAKES NG gathers that 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.
Kalu 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.
The tribunal also ordered a rerun election for the Abia North Senatorial District.
Kalu 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.
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.
Meanwhile, NEWS FLAKES NG had earlier reported that the Election Petitions Tribunal has sacked Senator James Manager of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as lawmaker representing Delta South Senatorial District.
Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice E.I. Ngene, gave the ruling on Saturday after looking at all arguments. He therefore ruled that it’s necessary to cancel the election.
He however ordered for a fresh election within the next 90 days. Manager’s sack happened after the candidate of All Progressives Congress in the election , Emmanuel Uduaghan, the immediate-past governor of Delta State challenged his victory in a petition filed by his lawyer, Thompson Okpoko (SAN). Punch