SENATOR Mao Ohuabunwa, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the February 23, 2019 senatorial election in Abia North, has lauded the tribunal over its judgment in his petition challenging the electoral victory of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
The National and State Assembly Election Petitions Election Tribunal sitting in Umuahia granted the prayers of Ohuabunwa that the Independent National Electoral Commissioned (INEC) did not conduct the election according to the Electoral Act, as amended.
Ohuabunwa said he was happy that the tribunal headed by Justice Cornelius Akintayo answered his prayers by ordering a supplementary poll in Abia North senatorial zone within 90 days in eight electoral wards in Arochukwu, wards and units across Abia North where results were not collated.
While Ohuabunwa described the tribunal’s verdict as “a triumph for justice and democracy,” the Director General of his campaign organization, the Follow Better Campaign Organisation, Dr. Ndubusi Eke, stated that the judiciary had once again proved itself as the last hope of the common man.
Mao Ohuabunwa noted that going to the tribunal “I hoped to get justice,” as he saw the judgment as a further illustration that “truth will always triumph over falsehood no matter how long it takes.
“The judiciary has again shown that it remains the last hope for the common man and a critical stakeholder in our democracy.
“It has spoken in clear terms that Abia North senatorial election was a charade considering the rigging by those who claimed victory. This is a statement that no one can subvert the will of the people and get away with it.”
He believes that the Appeal Court would uphold the ruling of the tribunal and that he would prevail at the supplementary poll, because “the people are waiting for an opportunity to recover their stolen mandate.
“God who sustained me in 2015/2016 when I passed through this way will again sustain my victory.
“The supplementary poll will be a walkover for us because even those who aided the subversion of the mandate have seen the difference.”
The panel had invalidated the election of Kalu over non-compliance with the Electoral Act as well as the margin of Lead Principle and in a unanimous judgement ordered INEC.
The tribunal, reprimanded INEC for disenfranchising many registered voters and deducted some votes earlier credited to Kalu, while increasing Mao Ohuabunwa’s total score by 376 votes.