Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, the senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Partyin the February 23 poll in Abia north, has described the Appeal Court judgment that terminated his bid to return to Senate as “a miscarriage of justice”.
Reacting to the judgment in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Umuahia on Wednesday, Ohuabunwa said he remained convinced that he defeated Senator Orji Kalu, the Senate Chief Whip, at the poll.
The statement, which was signed by Dr Ndubuisi Eke, the Director General of Ohuabunwa’s Campaign Organisation, called “Follow Better”, stated that democracy in Nigeria had again come under siege with the judgment.
The former Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, expressed shock over the judgement.
He stated: “I have been inundated with calls from democrats and well-meaning Nigerians, whose hope was dashed by the verdict.
“Our judiciary again lost another golden opportunity to restore public confidence and rekindle the people’s hope on our fledgling democracy.”
He wondered how the Apeal Court panel arrived at its conclusion that the lower tribunal “erred in justice”.
He said: “The judgement is a travesty of justice, bad precedence in our legal system and a judicial nod to illegality and broad-day robbery of the people’s mandate.”
He opined that Abia north and it’s people remained the worst losers of the legal battle “because they have been robbed of their mandate”.
He however said he had handed over the matter to God “who alone is the final and only righteous judge”.
“My only regret is that Abia North which has always produced great voices at the senate has suddenly become a comic relief and laughing stock at the red chamber,” he said.
Ohuabunwa thanked his teeming supporters, Ndigbo and all Nigerians, for standing by him during the legal battle.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the lower tribunal had invalidated Kalu’s election on the ground of non compliance with the Electoral Act and principle of margin of lead.
It, therefore, ordered INEC to conduct a supplementary poll in eight of the 11 wards in Arochukwu Local Government Area, plus other polling units across the area, where results of the poll were reportedly not collated.
Apparently dissatisfied with the judgment of the tribunal, Kalu, who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, approached the Court of Appeal.
In its judgment on November 7, the Appeal Court sitting in Owerri, set aside the judgement of the tribunal.
It stated that the lower court erred in justice by granting Ohuabunwa “reliefs he never asked for” and reaffirmed Kalu’s election.