Enugu: Election Tribunal Reserves Judgment After Adoption of Final Addresses

Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State and his challenger in the March 18, 2022 governorship election in the state, Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party will have to wait before knowing their fates, as the state’s Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, on Wednesday, reserved its judgment.

The tribunal, led by Justice Akano, reserved judgment after the parties to the petition adopted their final written addresses, adding that the date of the judgment will be communicated to the parties.

Ripples Nigeria reports that the candidate of the Labour Party, Edeoga, approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration of Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the validly elected governor of Enugu State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

INEC is the first respondent in the petition, and Dr Mbah and PDP are listed as the second and third respondents respectively.

While adopting his address, Peter Mbah’s counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, (SAN), prayed the tribunal to dismiss the Petitions of the Labour Party for lacking in merit and a mere academic exercise.

In his own submission, the counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party, Anthony Ani (SAN), contended that the argument of the petitioners is vague and lacking in evidence.

Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, the lead counsel to Labour Party and Edeoga, however asked the tribunal to uphold the position of his clients and grant the reliefs sought by his client.

According to him, it has been established beyond any reasonable doubt that Mr Peter Mbah was at the time of the election not constitutionally qualified to contest for the election having presented a forged certificate of national service to INEC.

Awomolo also highlighted the issues of over-voting, non-use of BVAS, and alleged forgery of NYSC certificate, among others brought by the petitioner as reasons why the matter should be decided in favour of his client (Edeoga).