The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has re-affirmed Peter Ndubuisi Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the duly elected Governor of Enugu State.
On March 22, INEC declared the Mbah winner with 160895 votes against his closest challenger the Labour Party Candidate, Chijioke Jonathan Edeoga’s 157552 votes in the 18th March Governorship poll.
Dissatisfied with the results as declared by the umpire, the Labour Party and Edeoga through their Counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN, approached the tribunal seeking redress. INEC, Mbah and PDP were listed as the first, second and third defendants, respectively.
Edeoga/LP’s anchored their petition based on 3 grounds:
(1) That Mbah was not qualified to participate in the election because he failed the basic eligibility test by filing a forged NYSC discharge Certificate under oath.
(2) That the election was not conducted in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act, with respect to the non-use of BVAS machines for accreditation, inter-changing of LP’s results in 19 PUs at the Ward Collation Centre in Udenu LGA , electoral violence and
(3) That the election result was not counted in accordance with the law due to over-voting, wrong tabulations especially in Mbah’s Owo Ward and Ugbawka 1 Ward, both of Nkanu East LGA, etc.
On September 21. The justice kudirat Morayo Akano-led Tribunal unanimously ruled in favour of the defendant on all grounds, and thereafter dismissed the petition for lacking in merit, weak, based on hearsay and leads of concocted and inadmissible evidence.
Dismayed by the outcome, Edeoga & the LP approached the penultimate Court in these matters for reprieve.
The Appeal Court in a well-delivered ruling, upheld the decisions of the tribunal in toto. The three-man panel resolved all grounds of the petition in favour of the Respondents, and affirmed the returned of Peter Mbah as duly returned.