The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia has affirmed the victory of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, who represents Abia-North Senatorial zone in the February 25, 2023 polls.
A three-member panel led by Justice Samson Paul-Gang, in a unanimous ruling on Tuesday, September 12, dismissed the petitions of Mao Ohuabunwa from the Peoples Democratic Party and Nnamdi Iro Orji from the Labour Party for lacking merit.
The court, while upholding Kalu’s victory from the All Progressives Congress (APC), stated that the election of the former Senate Chief Whip complied with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The tribunal judges also refuted the arguments of both petitioners claiming that the election did not take place in over 120 polling units, primarily in Ohafia and Arochukwu Local Government Areas of the zone.
Nnamdi Iro and Ohuabunwa, who came in second and third place respectively, from the Labour Party, in separate cases, had asked the court to overturn the election of the former Abia Governor, as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), citing irregularities.
Also dismissed was the petition of the PDP and LP, which argued that the total number of registered voters in the affected polling units far exceeded the margin of victory between Kalu and the first and second runners-up.
The court also affirmed Kalu’s eligibility to contest the election, stating that his trial and conviction were nullified by the supreme court.
Two other cases filed by the LP challenging Kalu’s election were also addressed and settled by the Tribunal judges, thus confirming Kalu as the duly elected Senator of Abia North.
Kalu, a prominent member of the APC, was declared the winner by the INEC Returning Officer for Abia North, Mr. Chinedu Nnamdi, in Ohafia.
Kalu, a two-time lawmaker who currently chairs the Senate committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, was declared the winner by INEC in the February 25, 2023 Senatorial polls, having garnered 30,805 votes to defeat Nnamdi who received 27,540 votes.
Meanwhile, Kalu’s other opponent, Ohuabunwa of the PDP, secured 15,175 votes to come in third place.