ABIA SENATORIAL SEAT: KALU VS OHUABUNWA, COURT RESERVES RULING

UMUAHIA—THE Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia has reserved sine dire, judgment in the petition filed by former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu of Progressive People Alliance, PPA, against Senator Mao Ohuabunwa of the PDP in the last senatorial re-run election in Abia North District. The chairman of the Tribunal, Justice James Abundaga announced this after the adoption of written addresses by parties in the petition, and told them the date of the judgment would be communicated to them. Submitting his written addresses, Orji Kalu, through his lead counsel, Kelvin Nwufo, SAN, had asked the tribunal to uphold this petition against the declaration of Ohuabunwa as the winner of the re-run election, by INEC. According to him, the cases cited by Ohuabunwa to defend his victory were not applicable in the instant case saying that the position of paragraph 4 (7) of the Electoral Act relied upon by him had been deleted by the amendment in the electoral Act as shown in section 38 by the Electoral Amendment Act 2010. But counsel to Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, Mr. Bolarinwa Awojola urged the tribunal to strike out the petition on the ground of incompetence. “We submit that the application which is hinged principally on paragraph 4 (7) of the Electoral Act should be struck out and dismissed as incompetent”, Ohuabunwa submitted. Also, INEC, through its counsel, Mr. Anagha Kalu, urged the tribunal to strike out the petitioner’s case, saying that the evidence of the Forensic expert was based on hearsay and could not be relied upon, and argument Kalu attacked insisting that the forensic witness who was appointed and trained by INEC could not be criticized and condemned by the electoral body. According to Kalu, “The 2nd Respondent [INEC] which appointed and trained PW 18 [Forensic expert] cannot be allowed in law to benefit from his shortcoming”. Before adjourning the matter, the chairman of the tribunal expressed satisfaction with the conduct of counsel to the parties. “We will adjourn to prepare the documents and communicate the date to you. Somebody must win, somebody must lose, but we will do our best before men and the Almighty God. The important thing is that you are sure that those adjudicating are of utmost sincerity.”

Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/08/kalu-vs-ohuabunwa-tribunal-winds-reserves-judgment-sine-dire/

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