The All-Progressives Congress (APC) candidate during the recently concluded state assembly election, Hon. Otuwe Oji Kalu, filed a lawsuit challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) designation of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) flagbearer, Hon. Mandela Obasi, as the representative-elect for the state’s Ohafia North Constituency. The court has reserved judgement in the case.
Recalls that INEC had, during the election on March 19, 2023, pronounced Obasi the winner after he allegedly received the most votes.
The All-Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Okocha Uchenna Onuoha, finished third, placing behind Kalu in second.
But the APC candidate petitioned the electoral tribunal after being upset with the results of the poll.
Among the reliefs requested by Kalu at the tribunal, he argued that he should be recognised as the election’s legitimate victor.
He added that certain INEC ad hoc staff members and representatives of the opposition parties colluded to rig the election in the PDP’s benefit.
The final written speeches of both parties in the case were earlier accepted by the Abia Election Petition Tribunal in Umuahia.
The petitioner’s attorney, Mr. Anaga Kalu Anaga, Esq., requested that the three-person tribunal panel rule in favour of the APC based on the plaintiff’s allegations of altercation and falsification of the results of the conducted election in order to undermine the will of the people.
Additionally, Mr. Chiedozie Ogunji, Esq., the PDP candidate’s lead attorney, claimed before the state election petition tribunal that the petitioner had failed to provide evidence that the recently held election’s results had been tampered with.
He requested that the court reject the APC candidate’s case because it lacked merit.
The tribunal stated that the parties would be informed of the date for the post-election lawsuit judgement.