Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri, the Imo State capital, yesterday, nullified the election of Senator Mao Ohuabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, representing Abia North Senatorial District.
Ruling on the appeal filed by Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, senatorial candidate of the Progressive People’s Alliance, PPA, the presiding judge, Justice I. G. Mbaba, set aside the judgment of the lower tribunal.
The appellate court also ordered for a fresh election in the senatorial district and held that there were certain documents that the lower tribunal should have relied upon to decide the case which were not presented and where presented, were not stamped.
The judge noted that the election was largely marred by irregularities to the extent of result mutilation.
It also held that to ensure a credible and transparent election, all the parties should go back to the field for a fresh poll.
Following the conclusion of the court, Justice Mbaba therefore ordered for a rerun election within the next 90 days.
Barrister Ndubuisi Nwosu of K.C Nwufor, SAN, Chambers, counsel to Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, noted that the Appeal Court based its verdict on the non-tendering of some critical documents and cases of irregularities.
Also reacting, Barrister Mike Onyeka, counsel to Senator Ohuabunwa, expressed displeasure and disappointment with the judgment.
“As a person, I do not agree with the conclusion of the court here today, but as a lawyer, I am bound by the judgment. If there was another opportunity to contest it, I would have done so. In any case, this is not the worst case scenario as all the parties involved would have to go back to the field and test their popularity.”
Meanwhile, the Appellate Court also dismissed the appeal filed by Benjamin Uwajumogu, senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, against Senator Athan Achonu of the PDP in Imo East Senatorial District.