The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Enugu has officially affirmed the victory of Peter Mbah from the Peoples Democratic Party as the duly elected governor of Enugu state.
In a decisive ruling, the three-man tribunal, led by Justice Kudirat Akano, dismissed allegations of over-voting and BVAS bypass, declaring that Mbah was legitimately elected with the majority of lawful and valid votes.
Additionally, the tribunal dismissed the NYSC certificate forgery case brought forward by the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and the Labour Party against Mbah.
The tribunal found no evidence to support the claim that a forged certificate had been submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Chris Agu of the PRP and Chijioke Edeoga of the LP had individually filed suits against Mbah, contesting his eligibility based on alleged forgery of his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate.
The tribunal clarified that Section 177 of the 1999 constitution is not a requirement for contesting a governorship election.
It also rejected Edeoga’s witnesses, ruling that the LP candidate failed to present admissible evidence proving Mbah’s certificate was forged.
Regarding the PRP’s petition, Justice Akano stated that the issue was not contained in the petitioner’s affidavit and emphasized that to substantiate forgery claims, both the original and supposedly forged certificates should have been presented.
The tribunal concluded that the petitioner did not establish that the respondent met the minimum requirements to run for the election, including a school certificate or its equivalent, hence, confirming that Mbah was qualified for the election.
Furthermore, the tribunal examined the issue of plea bargain by Mbah and determined that the exhibit presented by the petitioners did not demonstrate any plea bargain by the respondent, further solidifying Mbah’s victory.
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