Tribunal upholds Mbah’s election as Enugu Governor

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The Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Enugu has upheld Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s election in the March 18, 2023 election.

The Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, had approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration, claiming that Mbah was ineligible to run due to an alleged forgery of his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate, as well as cases of over-voting in Udenu, Nkanu East, and Enugu East local government areas.

But the tribunal, chaired by Justice Kudirat Murayo Akano, dismissed all grounds of the petition. The judge stated that NYSC is not a requirement for contesting for the office of the governor and there is nowhere that the NYSC certificate was attached to the documents the governor submitted to INEC.

On the LP candidate’s claim of wrong computation of results in Udenu local government, the panel said the petitioner failed to prove this case. The court said witnesses called by Edeoga gave the same testimonies for different polling units and wards even though they are in different local governments.

The panel also said that LP’s witnesses were not duly accredited agents by INEC which makes their testimony invalid.

The court, based on the witnesses from the right agents in three polling units, deducted 51 votes from the PDP and added the same to the LP.

But it held that the deduction was not enough to overturn Mbah’s election.

In the Amagu polling unit in Nkanu East, the panel cancelled the votes for all parties because the witness pw10 proved he was there and the right person.

In the remaining 11 polling units, the tribunal held that the witnesses did not sign the result sheet, and their witnesses were discountenanced because they could not prove they were party agents.

After resolving all the matters, the tribunal dismissed the petition for lack of merit.