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Influential figures from Abia State have lauded the verdict of the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, which affirmed Senator Orji Uzor Kalu‘s triumph as the elected representative for Abia North.
Those involved in the matter praised the verdict for its thoroughness, underscoring that it effectively dealt with every issue brought forward by the petitioners.
The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, convening in Umuahia, issued its ruling on Tuesday, upholding Senator Kalu’s victory as Abia North’s legislator.
Justice Samson Paul-Gang, presiding over a three-member panel, rendered a unanimous decision, dismissing the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mao Ohuabunwa, and the Labour Party (LP), Nnamdi Iro Orji, on the basis of insufficient merit.
The tribunal declared that the former Senate Chief Whip’s election adhered to the regulations outlined in the Electoral Act, while also discrediting the claims of both petitioners that the election did not take place in more than 120 polling units, primarily in Ohafia and Arochukwu local government areas of the zone.
Kalu, a legislator with two terms under his belt and the chair of the Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, was announced as the winner by INEC, amassing 30,805 votes and outperforming Nnamdi, who received 27,540 votes, as well as Ohuabunwa with 15,175 votes.
Igbo youths, organized within the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), saw Senator Kalu’s win as a validation of his capabilities, emphasising that it was the voters’ choice rather than strict party affiliation.
The President General, Goodluck Ibem, and Secretary, Okey Nwaoru, in their statement, noted that Senator Kalu’s victory would enhance the state’s democratic processes and urged his opponents to unite in driving the state forward.
‘His victory is a confirmation that the good people of Abia North Senatorial zone voted for him based on his capacity to deliver and not on the basis of party or religious consideration.’
‘Since 2019, Senator Kalu was elected into the Senate by the good people of Abia North Senatorial zone, he changed the face of representation and made the people to know that a lawmaker is not only about speaking grammar at the chambers but all about to better the lot of the people by attracting projects that has direct bearing on the people who differed the rain and sun to vote for him.’
‘Within a short period of two years in the Senate, Senator Kalu constructed and completed over 50 roads, built and equipped classrooms blocks with modern desks for learning, gave local and international scholarships to so many students, gave street lights to so many communities, empowered the youths and many other democracy dividends too numerous to mention.’
‘This uncommon democracy dividends brought by Kalu to his people endeared him to his people which is why they came out enmasse to vote for him during the elections.’
‘We commend the judiciary for defending the collective will of the people by giving the right judgement in Abia North Senatorial zone. The judgement is the collective desire of the good people of Abia North.’
In response, Dr. Ody Ajike, a distinguished security consultant and lawyer, asserted that the verdict accurately mirrored the mandate bestowed upon Senator Kalu by the constituents of Abia North Senatorial District during the most recent National Assembly election.
As a result, he encouraged both Iro and Ohuabunwa to work alongside Senator Kalu in his initiatives aimed at addressing the array of issues affecting the district.