-Anietie Udobit, Owerri
The Appeal Court sitting in Owerri has upheld the judgement of the Election Petitions Tribunal, Umuahia, Abia state which validated the election of Mao Ohuabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the duly elected senator for Abia North.
In a unanimous decision, delivered by the Chairman, Justice Jimmy Bada, the court dismissed the appeal of the former Abia Gov. Orji Uzor Kalu, who was the candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA.
Earlier in September 2016, the National Assembly tribunal had dismissed the petition filed by Uzor Kalu for lack of merit.
In over eight hours judgment, the Tribunal chairman, Mr. Justice James Abundaga, ruled that Kalu failed to prove some of his allegations that Ohuabunwa was not elected by majority of lawful votes, that voting was inconclusive in some wards, evidence of over-voting, thuggery, voting by many unregistered voters, harassment of voters among others.
According to the result announced by INEC, Ohuabunwa polled 26,009 votes followed by Kalu’s 25,814, APGA’s Bourdex Onuoha 13,692 while the All Progressives Congress, Nnenna Nma Lancaster-Okoro, got 916.