December 3, 2023
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Enugu governorship election: Appeal Court affirms Mbah’s victory

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By Chinyere Omeire

The State and National Assembly Appeal Court in Lagos has upheld the election of Peter Mbah as the Governor of Enugu State.

The Appellate Court, in a unanimous decision, dismissed three issues raised by the opposing party.

The three-member panel, led by Justice Tani Yusuf-Hassan, concluded that the Labour Party (LP) and its governorship candidate failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove that Mbah was not qualified to contest the election.

Regarding the allegation of over-voting, Justice Hassan stated in her lead judgement that the “Voters’ Register” was not presented before the lower tribunal.

She, therefore, said that failure to submit the voters’ register rendered the appeal inadmissible.

The court also determined that the witnesses presented by the Labour Party did not sufficiently prove the existence of over-voting in the governorship election.

Consequently, the appeal dismissed thd case for lacking merit, affirming the judgement of the election tribunal, which declared Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the March 18 governorship election.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Mbah as winner of the March 18 governorship election with 160,895 votes.

Edeoga of the LP came second with 157,552 votes, while Frank Nweke of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) polled 17, 983 votes to claim third place.

Dissatisfied with the results, Edeoga and his party filed a petition, challenging Mbah’s victory, asking they should be declared as the winners, claiming they had the highest valid votes.

The petitioners also raised concerns about the alleged forgery of a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate by Mbah.

However, the Enugu State governorship election petition tribunal ruled in favour of Mbah, stating that he met the minimum requirements for the election, which include possessing a school certificate or its equivalent.

The tribunal rejected Edeoga’s witnesses, adding that the petitioner did not present any admissible evidence to prove that Mbah’s certificate was forged. (NAN)

Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa

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