The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, has upheld the election victory of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who represents Abia-North Senatorial zone.
The Court of Appeal’s ruling unequivocally upheld Senator Kalu’s electoral success, affirming the legitimacy of his victory under the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The court rejected arguments from the petitioners, Mao Ohuabunwa of the PDP and Nnamdi Iro Orji of the Labour Party, who asserted that elections did not take place in over 120 polling units, primarily in Ohafia and Arochukwu Local Government Areas of the senatorial zone.
The panel also dismissed Nnamdi Iro Orji’s attempt to disqualify Senator Kalu based on an alleged admission of fraud before the Federal High Court.
The panel held that there was no valid conviction of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu under section 66 of the Nigerian constitution, as the previous conviction had been nullified.
In a significant constitutional interpretation, the court validated Senator Kalu’s eligibility to contest the election, emphasizing that his trial and conviction had been quashed by the Supreme Court.
This decision upheld Senator Kalu’s candidacy and rejected three other grounds raised by the Labour Party candidate.
Senator Orji Kalu, a prominent figure in the APC, secured his victory, as declared by the INEC returning Officer for Abia North, Mr Chinedu Nnamdi, in Ohafia.
Senator Kalu, a two-time lawmaker who chairs the Senate committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, was declared the winner with 30,805 votes, defeating his closest opponent, Nnamdi, who garnered 27,540 votes.
Mao Ohuabunwa of the PDP secured third place with 15,175 votes.
This court ruling has affirmed the legitimacy of Senator Orji Kalu’s representation of Abia-North Senatorial zone, providing a clear legal foundation for his victory in the keenly contested February 25 Senatorial polls.