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Reports reaching the desk of the The Eastern Updates reports that the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has reserved judgement in the appeal filed by the Labour Party governorship candidate in Enugu State, Barr. Chijioke Edeoga, seeking to nullify the election of Governor Peter Mba.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had declared Mbah winner of the poll which took place on the 18th of March, 2023.
However, the LP candidate, who was not satisfied with the outcome of the election, filed a petition at the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal alleging that Mbah forged his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), certificate.
Ruling on the matter, the tribunal, on September 21, struck out Edeoga’s petition and affirmed Mbah’s election.
However, Udeoga, who was not satisfied with the verdict of the tribunal, dragged the matter to the Appeal Court.
The three-member panel of justices adjourned the matter for judgement on Monday after taking arguments from counsel to the parties.
Counsel to the petitioners had told the appellate court to set aside the judgement of the tribunal.
The counsel claimed that the Justice Kudirat Akano-led tribunal erred in law by dismissing a proven case of certificate forgery, stamping the repulsive act of illegality with a judicial imprimatur.
According to the petitioners, aside from the proven case of certificate forgery against Mbah, there were proven cases of over-voting in Nkanu East local government area of Enugu State, computational errors in Udenu Council area, and results swap, among other irregularities.
Meanwhile, Governor Mbah was vindicated by a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, which ordered the NYSC to pay him N5 million in damages. The court’s decision stemmed from the NYSC’s false allegation that his discharge certificate was fake.
Justice Inyang Ekwo’s decision pointed out that the Director-General of the NYSC and the corps, as defendants in the case, were responsible for misrepresenting vital facts.
The judge’s decision confirmed the authenticity of the certificate Governor Mbah submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, stating that it was validly issued by the NYSC.