An Appeal court panel knocks off Labour Party’s arguments against Enugu governorship elections and affirms Peter Mbah as duly elected governor.
Labour candidate Chijioke Edeoga initially argued but lost on all three points at the governorship election court in Enugu.
He alleged that Mbah, already sworn in as governor, was not qualified to run for governor, forged his national youth service certificate, and engaged in actions that resulted in over-voting at the elections.
All three justices on the appeal panel dismissed the claims and resolved the three issues against Mr. Edeoga.
Justice Tani Hassan who read the lead judgement ruled that Labour Party was not able to prove that Mbah was not qualified to run for election.
She also said the NYSC was not able to disprove that it issued the certificate that its officials claimed as forged.
On claims of over-voting in Enugu East LGA, Judge Hassan wondered how Labour can prove this without providing the court with voters’ register.
She said that Labour’s failure to tender the voters’ register before the election court made it impossible to prove that there was over-voting.
The court also said it reviewed the testimonies of the witnesses and was unable to conclude that there was indeed over-voting.
Overall, the court said the appeal lacked merit and therefore upheld the judgement of the election court in Enugu.
Labour to appeal judgement
Enugu Labour Party vows to fight on, in a statement released yesterday from the Edeoga Campaign Organisation.
Campaign spokesperson, George Ugwu, announced that lawyers overseeing the matter briefed the Campaign.
Labour will escalate the appeal to the Supreme Court for final adjudication, he said.
Mbah thanks Enugu voters
Governor Mbah, meanwhile, took to X, formerly Twitter, to thank the people for standing by him throughout the period following the 18 March 2023 election.
He praised the judges for upholding the mandate “freely given to us by the great people of Enugu State…”
“Let me also say this as a lawyer, this judgment reaffirms my belief and trust in the irrevocable will of the judiciary. I want to use this opportunity to commend the justices of the Court of Appeal for standing firmly by the sacredness of the temple of justice.
He also spoke about those he said were promoting “palpable untruth … just to paint their government black.”
“With this judgement, we are going to deploy more energy and commitment to bring development to the doorsteps of Ndi Enugu.
“Permit me also to state that this is not a victory for Peter Mbah as governor, it is a victory for water that will run nonstop through taps of Enugu homes in less than 20 days. It is also a victory that will make Enugu State a road construction site, and we are talking about the length and breadth of Enugu State being transformed into a road construction site. It is also a victory that would ensure that we have smart schools across the 260 wards of Enugu State…”
“Again, I want to express my profound gratitude to the great people of Enugu State for their tremendous support, and the unimpeachable trust reposed in us.”
Slug: Appeal Court affirms Mbah as Enugu Governor