The Appeal Court, Owerri Division yesterday overruled the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal and upheld the mandate of Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, representing Abia North Senatorial District.
In a unanimous decision, the appellate court, while upholding Kalu’s election, held that the lower tribunal erred on several counts.
Delivering judgement, the presiding judge, Justice R. A. Adah observed that the grounds upon which the lower tribunal predicated its reliefs to the petitioner, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, were not tenable in law.
He noted that the lower tribunal granted the petitioner reliefs they did not ask for which was unacceptable in law.
The appellate court also noted that the petitioner literally dumped its avalanche of documents on the lower tribunal without calling witnesses to tie the documents to their case.
The Appeal Court insists that the lower court erred by allowing the dumping of documents on the lower tribunal. It maintains that in law, the petitioner must establish proof by bringing witnesses who will tie the documents to the substance of the case.
One of the counsels to Kalu, Mr. Perfect Okorie, told newsmen that “the relief the petitioner, Mao Ohuabunwa, asked for was for the nullification of the election in Bende and Isiukwuato, but the lower tribunal embarked on its own expedition, granted strange reliefs and nullified elections in some polling units in Ohafia and Arochukwu.”