The tribunal also affirmed Senator Kalu’s eligibility to contest the election, noting that the Supreme Court had overturned his trial and conviction.
The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, convened in Umuahia, has upheld the victory of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu in the February 25th election to represent Abia North Senatorial Zone in the 10th National Assembly.
Senator Kalu secured the win for Abia North Senatorial District with 30,805 votes, surpassing two major opponents, Nnamdi Iro Orji of the Labour Party and Mao Ohuabunwa of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), who garnered 27, 540 and 15,175 votes, respectively.
Nnamdi Iro and Ohuabunwa had individually asked the court to nullify the election of the former Abia State Governor as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), citing irregularities.
However, a three-member panel, led by Justice Samson Paul-Gang, rendered a unanimous decision on Tuesday, dismissing the petitions lodged by Ohabunwa and Iro Orji for lack of merit.
The tribunal upheld Senator Kalu’s victory, affirming that the election, in accordance with the Electoral Act, was conducted fairly.
It also dismissed claims by both petitioners that the election did not take place in over 120 polling units, primarily in Ohafia and Arochukwu Local Government Areas of the zone, as well as the argument that the total number of registered voters in the purportedly affected polling units exceeded the margin of victory between Kalu and the first and second runners-up.
The court, in its constitutional interpretation, also affirmed Kalu’s eligibility to contest the election, noting that the Supreme Court had overturned his trial and conviction.
Two other matters brought forth by the Labour Party challenging Kalu’s election were likewise addressed and resolved by the Tribunal judges, ultimately declaring Kalu as the duly elected Senator of Abia North.