Former Governor of Abia State and the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) candidate in the Abia North senatorial rerun election, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, has told the election petition tribunal sitting in Umuahia that he won the election in all the five local government areas of the zone and not only in Bende, his home local government.
Kalu, whose marathon testimony yesterday lasted seven hours, said under cross examination conducted by the 1st Respondent’s counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and INEC counsel, Dr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN) that his prayer was for the Tribunal to recompute the result of the rerun election and declare him winner.
He was confident that if the results were devoid of fraud, he would definitely win the rerun election. He added that the Tribunal should expunge the votes wrongfully allotted to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Mao Ohuabunwa. According to him, he was aware that the PDP was not joined in the petition because the electoral law did not provide that the party must be joined.
The publisher and business mogul said that he was aware that his agents did not sign the result sheets where there were glaring electoral malpractices even as he added that there were wards and polling units where the results were cancelled but INEC officials smuggled them in to the result. He also said he needed no further proof of allegations of multiple thumb printing, ballot box snatching and glaring violations of the electoral law than “the fact that the people that helped to rig the election were arrested and are undergoing trial in the courts.”
Speaking with journalists outside the court room, the PPA candidate said that over 500 hoodlums were arrested during the rerun election for various criminal acts and were presently facing trial in the court of record. He said he wanted to be in senate because of his love for the people of Abia North and not for personal or selfish reasons. Kalu expressed hope that the Tribunal would give him justice in the matter even as he was satisfied with the proceedings so far.
Kalu began his testimony on Tuesday and concluded yesterday, where he tendered 460 documents, including result sheets for Ohafia, Arochukwu, Umunneochi, and Bende Local Government Areas; certified true copies of charge sheets for those who committed electoral offences; three newspaper reports on the election; voters register for Arochukwu, Bende, Umunneochi and Ohafia Local Government Areas and receipts of payments for certified true copy of voters register to buttress his claim.