Senator Orji Kalu has said that his mandate will be re-claimed at the Court of Appeal following the nullification of his February 23 senatorial election for Abia North by a tribunal sitting in Umuahia the Abia capital.
The tribunal, Concise News reports, ordered a rerun of the election between the former Abia state governor, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Mao Ohuabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ohabunwa had filed a petition challenging the declaration of Orji Kalu as winner of the February 23 election, claiming non-compliance with the principles of electoral law.
But Kalu, through his media office on Monday, said he would not relent in sustaining his goodwill at the grassroots.
According to him, his victory in the election was borne out of his popularity among the people, believing that justice can only be delayed, not denied.
“The PDP candidate, Ohaubunwa, is not popular among the people and as such, my victory in the National Assembly poll is a landslide,” a statement from his media office read.
“Any day, any time, the APC will defeat the PDP in Abia North Senatorial District.
“At the appropriate time, my mandate will be restored.”
INEC validates Orji Kalu’s election
Nigeria’s electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had in march clarified that there were no issues with the result of the National Assembly election in Abia North.
Bamidele Oyetunji, the Public Relations Officer for the commission in Umuahia, said that the commission only had challenges with the results of the National Assembly election in Abia South.
The clarification followed the agitation by Ohuabunwa against the declaration of Orji Kalu as the winner of the election in Abia north.
Kalu was declared winner, having polled 31,201 votes ahead of the two other frontline contenders, including Ohuabunwa and David Onuoha, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, who scored 20,801 votes and 11,410 votes, respectively.
Ohuabunwa had alleged in a statement that the Returning Officer for the election, Dr. Charles Anumudu, did not declare anybody winner of the poll.
He claimed that the number of cancelled votes, totalling 76,889, was higher than the margin of lead, put at 10,402 votes.
He said that the difference between the margin of victory and cancelled votes was 66,487.
Ohuabunwa then urged INEC to order a rerun in the areas where the election was cancelled.