The Labour Party has rejected the judgement of the Enugu Governorship Tribunal, which affirmed the election of Governor Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Recall that, the tribunal had on Thursday dismissed all grounds of the petition filed by the Labour Party governorship candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, challenging Mbah’s victory at the polls.
Delivering the judgement on Thursday, the Chairman of the three-judge panel, Justice Kudirat Akano, said the petition filed by Edeoga that Mbah’s National Youth Service Corps discharge certificate was forged lacked merit.
Reacting in a statement on Thursday, the LP factional Chairman, Julius Abure, described the tribunal’s ruling as an absurd, stark reality of the future of the judiciary in Nigeria.
He stated that the party is worried about the level of degeneration in the nation’s judiciary, where ridiculous rulings are frequently churned out from the hallowed temple of justice.
Abure, therefore, announced its intention of the party to appeal the tribunal judgement, which ruled against its candidate.
He said, “Labour Party today watched in horror as another absurdity played out in Enugu where the Governorship and House of Assembly Tribunal dismissed allegations of NYSC certificate forgery against the PDP candidate, Peter Mbah.
“The tribunal also struck out our party’s allegation of over-voting, and bypass of BVAS while insisting that Peter Mbah was duly elected as governor by the majority of lawful and valid votes cast at the election.
“Though we will seek redress at the Supreme Court immediately, knowing that justice was miscarried in this particular case and that the tribunal judgement cannot stand, we are worried about the level of degeneration in our judiciary where ridiculous rulings are frequently churned out from the hallowed temple of justice.
“Our case before the tribunal was a clear case of electoral robbery where we pointed out that in Enugu, after the collation of 16 LGAs out of the 17 LGAs of the state, our candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, was leading with over 11,000 votes, surprisingly, the PDP in Enugu, working in cahoots with the INEC, shockingly and provocatively wrote and awarded to the PDP a whopping 30,000 votes at Nkanu East LGA, the LGA of the PDP candidate.
“We pointed out that the figures from the INEC BVAS, Nkanu East LGA, recorded a total number of 15,000 accredited voters on Election Day. However, when votes were declared, the PDP was allocated a total number of 30,350 votes, while a total number of 1,855 was credited to the Labour Party. So, we asked how INEC could have turned out over 33,000 votes in a place where only about 15,000 voters were accredited.”
The party called for a concerted effort by all well-meaning Nigerians to guide the judiciary and ensure that the state does not capture it.
“We had also asked the tribunal to disqualify the PDP candidate for presenting a fake NYSC certificate. The authority of NYSC confirmed that the PDP candidate absconded from service and that the certificate he paraded was not issued by them. Doesn’t that seem like an open and closed case, yet the tribunal saw nothing in a clear case of electoral forgery and perjury?
“In the wake of this judgement, we were aware of a series of visits made by Mba to Aso Rock, and we also took note of his level of confidence lately. However, we had ignored these ominous signs while hoping that the blind Lady of Justice would act impartially, but we are shocked by this judicial endorsement.
“Labour Party may be weeping today for this travesty of justice meted at us, but we do not know whose turn it would be tomorrow. Evil, they say, triumphs when the righteous keep silent and when they refuse to condemn it. We also think that the judiciary has a key role to play in keeping our democracy alive and safe.
“We, therefore, call for a concerted effort by all well-meaning Nigerians to guide this all-important arm of government and ensure that the state does not capture it. We must all rise to save our democracy,” he added.