Friday, 28 August 2015

Kalu drags election tribunal to Appeal Court

Orji Uzor Kalu
Former governor of Abia State and senatorial candidate of the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) in Abia North, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, has dragged the National Assembly and House of Representatives Election Petition Tribunal to the appellate court over its ruling of August 6, 2015.

Kalu and his party, the PPA, as first and second appellants, had petitioned the tribunal, challenging the declaration of Hon Mao Ohuabunwa as the winner of the election. Joined in the suit is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo-led three-man panel had, in its ruling of August 6, turned down the Certified True Copies (CTC) of the INEC report on the accreditation of voters for the Abia North senatorial district election, held on March 28, 2015, which Kalu (Appellant) sought to tender before it.

The tribunal had hinged its rejection of the document on the fact that it ought to be tendered by the makers of the report, which is INEC.

In the Notice of Appeal, dated August 24, 2015 and signed by Kalu’s counsel, K.C. Nwufo (SAN), the appellants described the rejection of the Certified True Copies of INEC report of accreditation of voters as ‘a gross miscarriage of justice.’

The appellants pointed out three particulars of error in the panel’s ruling, which included; “that the said documents were duly certified by the makers of the documents from the ICT department of the 2nd Respondent (INEC); that the said documents/reports were duly certified by INEC and complied with the provisions of Section 84 of the Evidence Act, 2011; and that the documents being certified true copies, did not require the makers thereof to personally tender same in evidence.”

Kalu and PPA, therefore, sought the relief of the appellate court for “an order setting aside the said decision or ruling of the 6th day of August 2015 in Petition No. AB/EPT/SN/5/2015 rejecting the said document in evidence and to replace same with an order of admission of the said document accordingly.”

The Sun