Tribunal Sacks Kalu

The National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abia State has sacked Senator Orji Uzor Kalu who was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to represent Abia North at the National Assembly.

In a judgment on Monday delivered by the three-man panel led by Justice Cornelius Akintayo, the tribunal ordered a rerun election for the Abia North Senatorial District.

Mr Mao Ohabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had gone to the Tribunal to challenge the victory of Kalu, who is also the Chief Whip of the Senate, at the February 23 National Assembly election.

Ohabunwa told the tribunal that Kalu’s declaration as the winner of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not comply with the provisions of the 2010 Electoral Act as ammended. He alleged that INEC excluded some votes during the collation of results, adding that the commission also disenfranchised many registered voters in the constituency.

The tribunal averred that 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 giving good reason for its action.

The tribunal held that the excluded figures was much higher than the over 10,000 votes, which was the margin of lead between Kalu and the petitioner. The panel therefore nullified the election and ordered a supplementary election in the affected areas within 90 days

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