The Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting 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.
However, the tribunal, presided over by Justice Kudirat Murayo Akano, dismissed the plea on all grounds. She added that NYSC is not a necessity for running for governor, and that the NYSC certificate was not attached to the documentation the governor presented to INEC.
The tribunal concluded the petitioner failed to verify the LP candidate’s claim of incorrect results computation in Udenu local government. According to the court, Edeoga’s witnesses offered the same testimony for multiple polling units and wards despite the fact that they are in separate local governments.
The panel also stated that LP’s witnesses were not properly accredited by INEC, rendering their testimony void.
Based on the testimony of the right agents in three polling units, the court removed 51 votes from the PDP and added them to the LP.
However, it determined that the deduction was insufficient to reverse Mbah’s election.
The panel annulled all votes in the Amagu polling unit in Nkanu East because witness pw10 confirmed he was there and the proper person.
The tribunal ruled that the witnesses did not sign the result sheet in the remaining 11 voting units, and their witnesses were discounted since they could not show they were party agents.
The panel dismissed the petition for lack of merit after resolving all issues.