Supreme Court Confirms Governor Mbah’s Victory in Enugu Governorship Election
By Adeke Chukwuka
The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal by the All Progressives Congress and its candidate, Uche Nnaji, challenging Governor Peter Mbah’s victory in the Enugu State governorship election. Governor Mbah was the People’s Democratic Party candidate in that election.
The APC candidate, who secured 14,575 votes compared to Mbah’s commanding 160,895 votes, finishing a distant fourth in the election, appealed to the court to disqualify Mbah, Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party, and Frank Nweke Jr. of the All Progressives Grand Alliance.
He alleged that these candidates were unqualified to run in the election, citing violations of the asset declaration law and other grievances.
On June 20, 2023, the Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, led by Justice K.M. Akano, dismissed Nnaji’s petition. In response, Nnaji sought recourse through the Court of Appeal, requesting that the dismissed petition be returned to the Tribunal for a thorough hearing and determination of the case.
The Court of Appeal in the Enugu Division upheld the Tribunal’s decision, dismissing the lawsuit and imposing a fine of N250,000 on both Nnaji and the APC.
In their judgement, a five-member panel of the apex court on Friday concluded that the legal team of the APC and Nnaji had submitted an invalid brief of argument and failed to provide convincing reasons for the court to accept their flawed submission.
In the lead judgement, Justice Tijani Abubakar noted that the invalidity of the appellant’s brief also affected the appeal itself, leading to the dismissal of both the brief and the appeal filed by the appellants.
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