In a significant ruling on Friday, the Supreme Court of Nigeria affirmed the victory of Governor Peter Mbah in the last Enugu State governorship election.
This decision came after the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Uche Nnaji, had filed an appeal challenging the election results.
Peter Mbah, who represented the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election, emerged victorious with an overwhelming 160,895 votes, while Uche Nnaji of the APC secured only 14,575 votes, placing fourth in the race.
Nnaji and his party raised concerns about the eligibility of Mbah and other candidates, alleging violations of asset declaration laws and other irregularities.
However, the Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, led by Justice K.M Akano, dismissed Nnaji’s petition on June 20, 2023.
Unsatisfied with this decision, Nnaji took his case to the Court of Appeal, seeking a review of the petition’s dismissal and a return to the Tribunal for further consideration.
The Enugu Division of the Court of Appeal upheld the Tribunal’s decision, and in addition, imposed a fine of N250,000 on both Uche Nnaji and the APC for their appeal.
In its final ruling, a five-member panel of the Supreme Court declared that the legal team representing the APC and Nnaji had submitted an invalid brief of argument and failed to provide compelling reasons for accepting this flawed submission.
Justice Tijani Abubakar, delivering the lead judgment, concluded that the invalidity of the brief also impacted the appeal itself, leading to the dismissal of both the brief and the appeal filed by the appellants.
This decision by the Supreme Court solidifies Peter Mbah’s position as the duly elected Governor of Enugu State, putting an end to a contentious legal battle over the election results.
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