Coalition Of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Stakeholders in Abia North Senatorial District has called for the inclusion of Abia North senatorial district in the April 15, 2023 scheduled supplementary elections and withdrawal of the certificate of return issued to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
The group in a statement signed by the convener, Okey Henry Chukwuemeka and secretary, Ikekechukwu Norbat, respectively, said following the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) press statement on Monday March 27, 2023, which stated that April 15, 2023 has been fixed for the conduct of all outstanding governorship, national and state assembly supplementary elections, the coalition wished to appeal to the chairman of the electoral body, Prof Mahmood Yakubu and the commission to include Abia North senatorial district in these supplementary polls, and also withdraw the certificate of return issued to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
It said this appeal becomes very necessary following the post-election outcry and protest by indigenes of the senatorial district on account of disenfranchisement and perceived ‘deception’ and compromise by the officials of the electoral commission.
“The Report by the accredited INEC Election Observers, which affirmed that the Senatorial election that took place in Abia North on 25th February, 2023 was below the standard and acceptable electoral practice, contrary to INEC electoral Acts and guidelines, and against the wishes and expectations of the electorates/constituents.
“That the INEC returning officer after noticing some irregularities and logistic challenges on the election day being 25th February 2023 announced to the observers, party agents and others in Ohafia, after consultation with the Resident Electoral Officer in Umuahia, that there will be a rerun election on Sunday 26th February, 2023 in some places in Abia North where elections didn’t hold but the elections never held till date.
“That from the report from INEC accredited Observers, election didn’t hold in over 100 polling units across the under-listed LGAs in Abia North Senatorial districts with over 80,000 registered voters,” it said. It identified the affected local governments, wards and units to include Ohafia LGA in Isiama, Agboji, Okamu and Ndielu with 47, 10, 27 and 4 units affected. Arochukwu LGA has the following affected wards, Amuvi, Eleoha, Amangwu and Ohaeke with the following number of affected units, 4, 1, 3, 3 respectively. Also affected is Isuikwuato LGA at ABSU/Univ ward where 2 units was affected.