…Judgement shocking – Edeoga
An appeal court sitting in Lagos, on Friday, upheld the election of Barr Peter Mbah as the governor of Enugu State.
The judgement was delivered by a three-man panel of the Appeal Court in a case filed by Barr Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party, LP.
The court affirmed the judgment of Enugu Tribunal delivered on September 9, 2023, by the Hon. Justice K.M. Akano-led tribunal.
All the three issues which were subject of the appeal were resolved in favour of Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The three-member panel led by Justice Tijani Yusuf Hassan held that the appellant failed to prove that Mbah forged his National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, certificate and was not qualified to contest the election.
The allegations of over-voting in Nkanu East Local Government Area was also dismissed by the court.
Meanwhile, the state Governor, Peter Mbah, in his reaction hailed the judgment of the court, saying it was consistent with the mandate freely given to him by the people of Enugu State.
Mbah also described the verdict as victory for the people and transformation of the state in line with his manifesto, assuring that he would never fail the people.
He further said the judgment had put paid to falsehoods peddled to malign the people’s government.
Reacting to the appellate court’s verdict, Mbah said: “as you are aware, a few minutes ago, the Court of Appeal in Lagos, dismissed an appeal filed against us by the Labour Party of gubernatorial candidate.
“The judgment of the appellate court is consistent with an earlier dismissal of the same matter filed before the Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal; and both judgments are in line with the mandate freely given to us by the great people of Enugu State in the March 18 gubernatorial election. They further reaffirmed our belief in the judiciary as the last hope of the common man.
“Let me also say this as a lawyer: this judgment reaffirms my belief and trust in the irrevocable will of the judiciary.
“I want to use this opportunity to commend the Justices of the Court of Appeal for standing firmly by the sacredness of the temple of justice.
“I want to also thank the great people of Enugu State for their endurance in the face of palpable untruths purveyed just to paint their government black. Therefore, with this judgment, we are going to deploy more energy and commitment to bring development at the doorsteps of Ndi Enugu.
“Permit me also to state that this is not a victory for Peter Mbah as a governor; it is victory for water that will run nonstop in Enugu city homes in less than 20 days from today. It is also a victory that would make the length and breadth of Enugu State a road construction site. It is also a victory that would ensure that we have smart schools across the 260 Wards of Enugu State.
“Let me assure Ndi Enugu that we are not going to let them down. We are going to deploy every breath and fiber of our being to consolidate on the gains we have made so far. Again, I want to express my profound gratitude to the great people of Ndi Enugu for their tremendous support and unimpeachable trust they reposed in us. We will never fail them. Indeed, the long awaited tomorrow is right here with us”.
However, Edeoga/Nwokeabia Campaign Organisation while reacting to the judgement described it as shocking and disappointing, adding that its lawyers have briefed the party and the candidate and the way forward was being decided.
“They have been instructed to explore the constitutional rights of appeal to the Supreme Court, while we continue to engage the human conscience to uphold what is right and just and what will, in the end, help reignite the blinking and fading embers of our humanity as Nigerians.
“We thank the great people of Enugu State and all our supporters worldwide for their steadfastness and enduring love. We enjoin them to remain peaceful, law-abiding, prayerful and purposefully expectant of victory in the end.”