Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia

The National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia has dismissed a petition filed against the election of Senator Orji Kalu of Abia North.

Candidate of All Grassroots Alliance, AGA, Anagha Anagha, had filed the petition claiming that he was unlawfully excluded from the February 23 Abia North Senatorial election. Mr Anagha prayed the tribunal to annul the election of the former Abia governor and order a fresh one. But Justice Cornelius Akintayo, leading a three-man panel on Thursday in a unanimous judgement, ruled that Anagha, the first petitioner, failed to prove his allegation of exclusion by the first respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

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Justice Akintayo said that all records at the panel’s disposal indicated that the second petitioner, AGA, did not present any candidate for the senatorial election. He added that Anagha, having not been a candidate of any party, lacked legal standing to present his case before the tribunal, and therefore dismissed his petition.

The panel had earlier granted the application of  AGA, seeking to strike out its name from the petition on grounds that the first petitioner was never nominated by it. The panel had on Tuesday fixed September 9 for judgement in the matter between Mao Ohabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Kalu over the same Abia North Senatorial District.