An appeal court sitting in Lagos has affirmed the election of Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State, as the winner of the March 18 governorship election in the state.
The Lagos Appeal Court on Friday, November 10, 2023, upheld the election of Mbah as the governor of the State.
The appellate court in a judgement delivered by a three-man panel of justices gave a verdict in the case filed by Barr Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party.
Edeoga who had earlier gotten his petition set aside by the state governorship election petition tribunal, affirmed Mbah’s election as the governor of the state.
However, the appellate court affirmed the judgment of the Enugu Tribunal, delivered on September 9, 2023, by the Hon. Justice K.M. Akano led tribunal.
All three issues tendered as subject of the appeal were resolved in favour of Mbah, who contested under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, in the last election.
The three-member panel of the appellate court presided over by Tani held that the appellant failed to prove that the respondent was not qualified to contest the March 18 governorship election in the state.
Ruling on the allegation of overvoting levelled against the governor, Justice Hassan in her lead judgement, held that the petition on the issue of the voters’ register was never tendered before the tribunal, noting that the fact that the case was not tendered before the tribunal, has rendered the appeal inadmissible.
Similarly, the appeal court held that the testimonies given by all the witnesses presented by the appellant failed to prove that overvoting took place during the election.
The court however dismissed the appeal submitted by the appellant, on the basis that it lacked merit, affirming the judgement of the election petition tribunal, which had earlier affirmed the election of Mbah as the governor of Enugu state.
Premium Politics reported that Mbah was declared as the winner of the March 18 governorship election in the state, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, with a total votes of 160,895.
However, Edeoga of the LP, his major challenger in the election, who came second with 157,552 votes became unsatisfied with the declaration and approached the tribunal with his party, seeking the disqualification of Governor Mbah, while also asking the tribunal to declare him the winner, claiming to have scored the highest votes in the election.
The LP candidate also challenged the candidacy of the PDP governor, over an alleged forgery of his National Youth Service Corps Certificate.
Meanwhile, the tribunal dismissed the petition filed by Edeoga and held that the LP candidate and his party failed to prove their case.
The tribunal which held that the governor met the minimum requirements for the election with his school certificate or equivalent, rejected Edeoga’s witnesses, noting that he failed to prove that Mbah’s certificate was forged.
It ruled that an “NYSC discharge certificate is not a qualification for governorship.”