The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, on Monday nullified the election victory of Orji Uzor Kalu as the Senator representing Abia North, and ordered a re-run election in the Arochukwu LGA, where results were excluded in the computation.
In view of this development, the Election tribunal declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mao Ohuabunwa, winner of the election.
Mao Ohuabunwa, Kalu’s PDP rival in the election, had challenged his victory at the tribunal over what he described as “excess electoral fraud and broad daylight robbery.”
Ohuabunw told the tribunal that Kalu’s declaration as the winner of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not comply with the provisions of the 2010 Electoral Act as amended.
He alleged that INEC excluded some votes during the collation of results, adding that the commission also disenfranchised many registered voters in the constituency.
The tribunal said that since all the parties agreed that elections were peaceful in the entire senatorial district, INEC failed in its duty to ensure that all the unit results were duly recorded in the relevant ward and local government result sheets.
It frowned at the exclusion of over 30,000 votes from Arochukwu Local Government Area, without giving good reason for its action.
The tribunal held that the excluded figure was much higher than the over 10,000 votes, which was the margin of lead between Kalu and the petitioner.
The panel, therefore, nullified the election and ordered a supplementary election in the affected areas within 90 days.