Senator Mao Ohuabunwa has described his loss at the Court of Appeal as “a miscarriage of justice.”
Ohuabunwa, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23, 2019 senatorial election, made the assertion in his formal reaction to the judgment of the Appeal Court sitting in Owerri, which upheld the election of Orji Uzor Kalu as senator representing Abia North.
The election petitions tribunal sitting in Umuahia had invalidated the election of Kalu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) on the grounds of non-compliance with the Electoral Act, and principles of margin of lead.
It, therefore, ordered INEC to conduct a supplementary poll in eight out of the 11 wards in Arochukwu Local Government Area plus so many other polling units across the zone where results of the poll were not collated.
But dissatisfied with the judgment of the tribunal, Kalu headed to the Appeal Court where the appellate court, last Thursday, set aside the judgment of the tribunal, arguing that the lower court erred in law by granting the PDP candidate “reliefs he never asked for.”
Reacting to the judgment of the Appeal Court, Ohuabunwa said he strongly believed he won the election but claimed that his “mandate was stolen.”
However, the media adviser to Kalu, Maduka Okoro, described the judgment as the reflection of the will of the people of Abia North, even as he maintained that his boss won the February 23 poll squarely, adding that what the appeal panel did was to reaffirm the mandate of Abia North electorates.
Nonetheless, Ohuabunwa, a onetime Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament who spoke on Monday through a statement release by the Director General of his “Follow Better” Campaign Organisation, Dr. Ndubuisi Eke, said democracy in Nigeria was under siege.
He expressed concern over “the preponderance of bad eggs” among INEC officials and ad-hoc staff and described the two institutions as “the worst enemies of Nigerian democracy.”