As the battle to restore the mandate stolen by Orji Uzo Kalu in connivance with one Dr. Anumudu who worked as INEC’s returning officer during the 2019 National Assembly election in Abia north continues, we take a critical look at the unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Cornelius Akintola led election petition tribunal panel at the High Court in Umuahia.
Firstly, the Principle of Margin and illegal cancellation of results made INEC the major culprit of scam that took place during the election.
In one of its ruling, the panel faulted the electoral umpire for deliberately violating a section of the law and the electoral guidelines/regulations for 2019 general election known as the “principle of margin” which prohibits declaration of a winner when the margin lead of a candidate is less than the number of vote cancelled or where election did not hold.
The case of Abia north is a public knowledge and I will not go into the details now.
The Honourable Judges in their rulings rendered the election of Orji Uzo Kalu invalid and ordered INEC to conduct a rerun election.
Secondly, the intelligent and dogged legal team of the petitioner, Sen Mao Ohuabunwa thoroughly proved that INEC through its returning officer erred in his decision to conclude an election that never produced any winner.
According to one of the legal luminaries whose hard work and diligence exposed the many errors of INEC in the said election, Barr Gabe Igboko, the violation of the electoral guidelines/regulation was deliberately perpetrated, and the legal team exhibited intelligence to stick on a simple and valid point(s) to come out victorious at the tribunal.
” Orji Uzor has boasted that he will get judgment at the Appeal Court but his appeal will be of no moment because our case was based on very strict compliance or rather noncompliance with Statute; the Constitution, Electoral Act, INEC (own) Guidelines & Regulation which they (themselves) radically refused to follow! A simple case of a law maker being in itself a law breaker!
Orji Uzor is toast, & gone! The over 100,000 Voters affected in the areas of the ordered supplementary election are our genuine people in our very strong hold & catchment areas! We didn’t go for outright declaration for the election Sen. Mao won clearly, because we didn’t have the complete figures at our disposal within the limited time of filing the Petition! Because INEC – the main culprit hoarded every piece of information from us! But we showed them that we are on ground and more intelligent! So we went for nullification.”
Finally, INEC withdrawing the petition they filed at the Appellant court challenging the judgment at the tribunal, shows clearly that they have accepted their errors which means that rerun election is inevitable in Abia north senatorial district.
As we wait for the appeal court ruling, we call on the Nigeria Judiciary, the Honourable Judges of the appeal court sitting in owerri to uphold justice by standing on the unanimous decision of the tribunal panel.
Written by Comrade Chigozie Daniel-A public affairs writer.