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Appeal Court Authenticates Peter Mbah's Victory as Governor of Enugu State, Dismisses Allegations of Irregularities

Peter Mbah Floors Edeoga At Appeal Court

In a significant legal development, the Court of Appeals, Lagos Division, has upheld the election victory of Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the Governor of Enugu State. The appellate court, in a unanimous decision, dismissed all challenges brought forward by Edeoga Jonathan of the Labour Party, affirming the legitimacy of Mbah’s victory in the March 18 election.

The three-member panel, led by Justice Tani Hassan, concluded that Edeoga Jonathan failed to substantiate claims that Peter Mbah was unqualified to contest the governorship election. The court emphasized that the appellant did not provide sufficient evidence to challenge Mbah’s eligibility.

Peter Mbah

Justice Hassan, in her lead judgment, addressed the allegation of overvoting. The court highlighted that the voters’ register, a crucial piece of evidence, was not presented before the lower tribunal. Emphasizing the procedural flaw, Justice Hassan declared the appeal inadmissible due to the absence of this vital document. Furthermore, the court concluded that the witnesses presented by the appellant failed to establish the occurrence of overvoting during the election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had initially declared Peter Mbah as the winner with 160,895 votes. Edeoga Jonathan, who secured the second position with 157,552 votes, contested the outcome, alleging irregularities and forgery of a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate by Mbah.

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Dissatisfied with the election outcome, Edeoga and the Labour Party approached the tribunal, seeking to disqualify Mbah and be declared the winner based on alleged irregularities. However, the state governorship election petition tribunal, led by Kudirat Akano, dismissed the petition. The tribunal ruled that Mbah met the minimum requirements for the election, emphasizing that an NYSC discharge certificate is not a qualification for governorship.

The Court of Appeals’ affirmation of Peter Mbah’s victory stands as a testament to the legal soundness of the Enugu gubernatorial election. The dismissal of the appeal by Edeoga Jonathan and the Labour Party reinforces the credibility of the electoral process, underscoring Mbah’s legitimacy as the duly elected Governor of Enugu State.

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