Peoples Democratic Party Abia North senatorial candidate in the February 23 National Assembly elections Senator Mao Ohuabunwa has lauded the election tribunal for ordering supplementary poll within 90 days to elect a senator for the district.
The tribunal had Monday sacked Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC), and ordered for a supplementary election in some local government wards and polling units.
The PDP senatorial candidate had filed a petition in Umuahia challenging the victory of Senator Kalu in the 2019 national assembly election.
The Justice Cornelius Akintayo-led three -man panel, had Monday, invalidated the election of Kalu over non compliance with the Electoral Act as well as the Margin of Lead Principle.
The tribunal in a unanimous judgement ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to within 90 days conduct a supplementary poll in eight electoral wards in Arochukwu as well as in several wards and units across Abia North where results of the February 23 poll were not collated.
The tribunal, which reprimanded INEC for disenfranchising many registered voters without any reason, had also deducted some votes earlier credited to Kalu, while increasing Ohuabunwa’s total score by 376 votes.
Reacting to the judgement, Ohuabunwa described it as “a triumph for justice and democracy “.
Ohuabunwa in a statement by the Director General of his Campaign Organisation, the Follow Better Campaign Organisation, Dr Ndubusi Eke, said the judiciary had once again proved itself as the last hope of the common man.
The former speaker, ECOWAS Parliament, said he went to the tribunal “to get justice”, and expressed satisfaction with the judgement of the panel.
He said the judgment was 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 could only pass for a charade considering the massive rigging by the man who claimed victory over the poll.
“The judiciary has again made a loud statement that no one can subvert the will of the people and be allowed to get away with it.”
Ohuabunwa expressed the confidence that the Appeal court would uphold the verdict of the tribunal should Kalu challenged the judgement.
He further boasted of victory at the supplementary poll, saying that “the people are waiting for an opportunity to recover their stolen mandate”.
“The supplementary poll will be a walkover because even those who aided the mandate snatcher have seen the difference between kite and gun. It is a big disgrace that the man who said he had their mandate has by his utterances so far left no one in doubt of who he truly represents”.
Senator Ohuabunwa praised his supporters and the good people of Abia North for their steadfast support, and urged them not to relent.
He promised to ensure the full realisation of all the ongoing and new projects attracted by him and already captured in the 2019 budget, if he returned to the red chamber.