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NEWS FLASH: LP condemns Enugu tribunal decision

Oct 19, 2023 | 2023 Elections | 0 comments

On Wednesday, the Labour Party’s leadership expressed disappointment in the Enugu Election Petitions Tribunal’s decision to appoint Peoples Democratic Party governor Peter Mbah.

Three weeks after the Tribunal declared Mbah the contentious March 18 governorship election winner, the reaction comes.

The three-member tribunal panel led by Justice Kudirat Murayo dismissed the Labour Party and its candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, for failing to prove their petitions.

Mbah’s return as governor was challenged by Edeoga for submitting a forged National Youth Service Corps discharge certificate, voting, and other reasons.

After dismissing the petitioners, the Tribunal ruled that the NYSC discharge certificate is not required to run for governor.

Obiora Ifoh, National Publicity Secretary, LP, lamented that the tribunal judgement fell short of Nigerians’ expectations at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday.

Ifoh lamented that Edeoga was already winning after declaring election results in 16 of 17 Local Government Areas before the PDP allegedly colluded with INEC officials to manufacture over 30,000 votes for Mbah, even though only 15,000 were registered to vote in the remaining local government.

He said, “The judgement fell short of the expectations of most Nigerians and legal pundits who have continued to criticise the fundamental logic and premise of the decision.

“The Labour Party and its candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, approached the Tribunal to review and correct over-voting in Nkanu East LGA, especially in Owo and Ugbawka. Nigerians must understand that Enugu State is a Labour Party state and that our candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, won the March 18 governorship election.

“The results of all other state elections in February and March support this claim. Two senatorial seats, seven Rep seats, and 14 House of Assembly seats were won by the Labour Party.

“Despite this truth, the Enugu State Governorship Election Tribunal shockingly delivered a judgement on the disputed election on September 21 that appeared to have ignored the facts.”

Ifoh then asked why the tribunal verdict in Nasarawa State, a similar case, differed from Enugu.

Despite warning that Mbah’s case would set a bad precedent for future election petition judgements.

Finally, the purported issuer of the forged certificate testified before the Enugu Tribunal that Governor Peter Mbah’s NYSC Discharge Certificate submitted to INEC was not issued by them following a subpoena.

Unfortunately, the Tribunal discounted the testimony of the NYSC Director of Corps Certifications, who testified at the Tribunal. That testimony easily meets the law on forgery-proof and should have proven the petitioner’s case, but Justice Akano-led panel glibly dismissed a key witness’s evidence!

The speaker warned that allowing the injustice committed in Enugu by the INEC and the Election Tribunal to stand could have dire consequences for everyone involved.

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