The member representing Bende Federal Constituency seat in the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Ben Kalu has declared that he won the election with 3650 votes to be declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, adding that there is no basis for the cancellation of the election results as being requested by the PDP candidate, Dr Anyaso Chimaobi.
Testifying before the Tribunal on Monday, the APC Reps member said that there was no cancellation of results in any unit in Bende federal constituency election held on February 23rd 2019 to warrant the cancellation of the election results.
When asked by the counsel to the petitioner if he is aware that 18 polling units results were missing at the time of collation, Hon. Kalu explained that the results were only omitted at the time of collation, adding that he has collated the certified true copy of the results from INEC. The first respondent also told the court during cross examination that he has campaigned for the seat for 17-years and has no reason not to win.
On the issue of violence during the election, the First respondent admitted that there were reports that INEC officials were not allowed to do their job in three units namely, unit 012 Amudo Itumbuzo; unit 015 Umuimenyi Nkpa and unit 004 where PDP thugs allegedly hindered the work of INEC officials.
On the question whether Hon Kalu is aware that the voting strength in those areas where the election could not hold due to violence is far above the margin with which he was declared the winner, said he doubts the source of information of the petitioner’s counsel and from where he was getting his facts.
Also when asked by the counsel to the petitioner if he was aware that the returning officer wrote a report that going by the results given to him that this election was inconclusive, Kalu denied any knowledge of such reports. He said he is only aware of the report declaring him winner of the election.
‘’And you don’t know why the results were missing because you were not there?…the respondent answered ‘’the agents said they brought the results a little late that’s why I ask this court to please collate it’’.
Hon. Kalu told reporters at the end of today’s hearing that the Tribunal is not going to call for re-run because ‘’I have won’’, he said. He called on Bende people who trooped out en mass in solidarity to remain peaceful while the Tribunal members do justice to the matter. He said he is happy to have come and testify that he won the election.
The APC lawmaker later retired to where he held a brief meeting with his constituents after which they entered into prayer session to commit the matter in the hands of God and pray for APC success at the Tribunal.