A three man panel of the National and State Assembly election petitions tribunal presided over by Justice Cornelius Akintayo has annulled the election of Chief Orji Uzo Kalu to the senate.

According to the tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, Kalu, who represents Abia north at the red chamber will have to face a re-run election. If he fails to appeal and upturn the ruling on appeal, Kalu will loss the privileges he currently enjoys as the chief whip of the upper chambers of Nigeria’s national legislature.

The ex-Governor contested during the last general election against Mao Ohuabunwa of the people’s Democratic Party for the senate seat. Kalu contested under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and was inaugurated alongside other federal lawmakers for the 9th National Assembly. His main opponent Mao Ohuabunwa approached the tribunal praying that the election of Chief Kalu be set aside. Mao Ohuabunwa described the election as “excess electoral fraud and broad daylight robbery.

Reacting, Kalu urged Abians not to lose hope, stressing that his mandate will be re-claimed at the Court of Appeal.

Kalu polled 30,203 votes against his closest rival, Chief Mao Ohaubunwa of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who garnered 20,801 votes in the February 23, 2019 general election.

While admonishing members and stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to remain strong, steadfast and law-abiding, Kalu noted that he will not relent in sustaining his goodwill at the grassroots.

In a statement signed by his media office on Monday, the former governor noted that his victory in the 2019 general election, was borne out of his popularity among the people, adding that justice can only be delayed but not denied.

He said, “following the decision of the National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, I will appeal the decision of the tribunal at the Court of Appeal.

“The PDP candidate, Ohaubunwa, is not popular among the people and as such, my victory in the national assembly poll as landslide.

“Any day, any time, the APC will defeat the PDP in Abia North Senatorial District.

“At the appropriate time, my mandate will be restored”.