Ohuabunwa vs Orji Kalu : Tribunal fixes judgement for Sept 9
By Steve Oko
The National / State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abia, Tuesday, fixed September 9 for judgement in the suit filed by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP) against Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC).
Chairman of the three -man tribunal , Justice Cornelius Akintayo, announced the judgement date after counsels to all parties adopted their written addresses.
Ohuabunwa is challenging Kalu’s election on the grounds that the Returning officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, did not declare anybody winner of the exercise but only announced the scores of various parties at the poll.
He is equally arguing that the margin of win is less than the total number of registered voters in the units where elections were cancelled.
Ohuabunwa challenged the rationale behind the cancellation of election results in his strong holds including 10 out of the 11 electoral wards in his Arochukwu Local Government Area.
The PDP senator who also alleged massive manipulation of results in favour of Kalu particularly in Bende LGA urged the tribunal to declare a rerun in the units where election was cancelled.
Lead Counsel to Ohuabunwa, Den Wigwe, SAN, while adopting his final written address, argued that the burden of proof was on INEC to adduce reasons it reneged in its responsibility of collating results after the election.
He, therefore, urged the tribunal cancel the election and resolve the suit in favour of its client, adding that the margin of win is less than the total number of cancelled votes.
Adopting his final written address , Counsel to INEC, Adizu Okorafor, who had objected to the argument by the petitioner’s lead counsel that the burden of proof was on the electoral umpire to explain why it failed in its responsibility, said the tribunal should also grant him time to file his written response to the argument if admitted.
He urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition and uphold the outcome of the poll.
Similarly, counsels to Kalu, Obi Obianwu, SAN; and APC, Perfect Okorie, respectively, adopted their final written addresses and urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition.
Later in an interview after the court session, Ohuabunwa who was physically present at the court, expressed satisfaction with the proceedings at the tribunal.
He said he was at the court to seek justice and expressed hope he would get justice.Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.