By Mathew Dadiya
The All Old Bende Youth Movement Nationwide has pledged that any one convicted of crime, especially fraud would henceforth be opposed and prevented from representing the Abia North senatorial district.
The group which drew the attention of the Court of Appeal to the fact that 105 polling units in Ohafia and Arochukwu local government Areas of Abia State did not witness voting exercise during the February senatorial election.
They urged the Court of Appeal which is expected to rule on the appeal instituted by the Senatorial candidate of the Labour Party, Nnamdi Iroh-Orji to ensure there is consideration of the affected polling units when deciding the case.
The Tribunal had a few weeks ago said the petitioner did not prove his case and ruled in favour of the former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu who was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Dissatisfied with the tribunal ruling, Nnamdi Iro-Orji, appealed the judgment, arguing that “Kalu had admitted to the Federal High Court in Abuja that he should not be retried for corruption-related cases he was being prosecuted for by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).”
EFCC had prosecuted Kalu for corruption amounting to billions of naira the commission said was stolen when he was governor of Abia State.
Iro-Orji also argued that the election result was declared in clear violation of the electoral act 2022 as amended because it was incomplete and the difference between the winner and first runner-up was less than the voided votes.
In the past week, Kalu has reportedly been under pressure following an allegation from Adamawa Senator, Ishaka Abbo, that Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Senate President was behind his removal by the court.
Recall that Abbo was removed last week and immediately accused Akpabio of being behind his sack and that the former Akwa Ibom State governor was also pushing to remove Kalu and four others.
Although he recanted and apologized, the All Old Bende Youth Movement Nationwide warned Abbo to desist from insinuation as he had nothing to do with the Abia North Senatorial issue.
A statement jointly signed by the group’s National President Hon. Uchendu Udensi and Comrade George Iboko, National secretary declared their support for Akpabio and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu noting they are the most credible leaders to lead the National Assembly.
The statement over the weekend read, the Old Bende Youth Movement Nationwide “stands sure and resolves in solidarity, and re-affirm that Senator Godswill Akpabio (Senate President) and also the Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu the Deputy Speaker Federal House of Representative as most credible, trusted, reliable and appreciated as they deserves the honour and privileges for a better Nigeria.
“We also frown at the former Senator Ishaka Abbo in his ill-accusing and unfounded facts against the leadership of the Senate.
“The All Old Bende Youths Movement Nationwide cautioned that the outdated Senator Ishaka Abbo from Adamawa State should distance himself on election issues related to Abia North Senatorial District Abia State.
“That the Judiciary are hereby re-alerted on the inconclusive of elections in the Abia North still awaiting outright resolutions for the fact that 105 polling units in Ohafia and Arochukwu Local Government Areas in Abia State where elections did not hold and also PVC’s approximately 50,000 and above collected by citizenry were not allowed to exercise their franchise in (3) Federal wards in Ohafia LGA in Abia State during past 2023 general election.
“That the All Old Bende Youths Movement Nationwide in strong terms condemn and oppose whoever is spotted out with questionable character, fraudulence in the act, and Ex-convict to quits representing the good people of Abia North Senatorial Districts in any of the Red Chambers in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”