Abia North: Appeal Court Affirms Orji Kalu’s Victory, Dismisses LP, PDP’s Cases

Posted by Timige, On 6 Nov, 2023 | Updated On 6 Nov, 2023 No Comments »


The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, on Monday, affirmed the electoral victory of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), representing Abia North senatorial district of Abia State in the February 25 polls.

In a unanimous judgement, the Appeal Court upheld the judgement of the National/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Umuahia, Abia State, which earlier dismissed the petitions of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mao Ohuabunwa, and that of Labour Party (LP), Nnamdi Iro Orji, for lacking merit.

The appellate court, while upholding the victory of Kalu, said the election of the former Abia State governor to represent Abia North in the Senate complied with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

The Appeal Court judges also faulted the arguments of both petitioners that the election did not hold in over 120 polling units, mainly in Ohafia and Arochukwu local government areas of the Senatorial district.

The court also set aside the prayers of Iro Orji, to disqualify Senator Kalu for having allegedly admitted before the Federal High Court that he was convicted of fraud.

The panel of Justices, in its ruling, held that there was no valid conviction of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu under Section 66 of the Nigerian Constitution as the said conviction had been nullified by the Supreme Court.

Further dismissing the appeals of Iro and Ohuabunwa, the panel also ruled that the appellants failed to prove their allegations of election not holding in some polling units.

The court, in its constitutional interpretation, also validated Kalu’s eligibility to contest the election, stating that his trial and conviction were quashed by the Supreme Court, while three other grounds canvassed by the LP candidate were dismissed in Kalu’s favour.

Kalu was earlier declared the winner of the election by the INEC returning officer for Abia North, Mr Chinedu Nnamdi, at Ohafia.

Kalu, a two-time Senator, who currently presides as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, was declared winner of the keenly contested February 25 Senatorial election having scored 30,805 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Iro Orji, of the LP, who got 27,540 votes, while the Abia North Senator’s other opponent, Mao Ohuabunwa, of the PDP scored 15,175 votes to place third.

Source: Leadership

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