The Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, on Thursday, affirmed the election of Peter Mbah as the governor of the state.
The Labour Party (LP) has rejected the judgment by the Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which affirmed the election of Peter Mbah as the governor of the state.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that a three-member panel of judges headed by Justice Kudirat Akano, on Thursday, dismissed the petition by the governorship candidate of the LP, Chijioke Edeoga, for being incompetent.
The tribunal also held that Mr Edeoga failed to prove his allegation that Mr Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) forged his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate.
It ruled that the PDP candidate was already qualified, even without submitting the NYSC certificate, adding that the NYSC certificate was not a requirement for qualification to contest the office of the governor in line with Sections 177 and 138 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.
'We'll challenge judgment'
Speaking to reporters shortly after the judgment, the Chairperson of the LP in the state, Casmir Agbo, claimed the tribunal erred in its judgement.
"The tribunal, in its wisdom, erred in both facts and law when they ruled that Peter Mbah's forged NYSC certificate is not a requirement to contest for governorship election in the state," Mr Agbo said.
The chairperson, citing Section 182 (1) (j) which supports non-qualification of a candidate who presented a forged certificate, argued that the provision did not say that the forged certificate must be a requirement to contest the election.
"They did not even tell us if the NYSC certificate was forged or not. They only ruled that the witness of the NYSC did not upload his written statement on oath," he said.
"We are going over to the Appeal Court on this matter."
The Edeoga Campaign Organisation has also indicated interest to appeal the judgment.
In a statement on Thursday, George Ugwu, the spokesperson of the campaign organisation, asked the LP supporters to be calm and law-abiding while assuring that the party would challenge the tribunal judgment.
INEC had, on 22 March, declared Mr Mbah as the winner of the 18 March governorship election in the state.
The PDP candidate polled 160,895 votes to defeat his closest challenger Mr Edeoga, who scored 157,552 votes.
The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Frank Nweke Jr, garnered 17,983 votes to come third, while the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Uche Nnaji, came fourth, with 14,575 votes.
Mr Edeoga, afterwards, filed a petition at the tribunal challenging the victory of Mr Mbah, now governor.
Mr Edeoga and his party had argued that Mr Mbah ought not to have contested in the election because he allegedly presented a forged NYSC certificate to INEC.
The LP candidate had asked the tribunal to nullify the election of Mr Mbah on the grounds that there were irregularities including over-voting and non-use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System during the election in Nkanu East Local Government Area, where Mr Mbah hails from.