Supreme Court affirms Mbah’s election as Enugu governor

The Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the governorship election held in Enugu State.

The apex court in its ruling on Friday, dismissed the appeal of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress Uche Nnaji, challenging Mbah’s victory.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Mbah the winner of the governorship election held on March 18 with a total of 160,895 votes to defeat his closest challenger Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party who had 157,552 votes.

All Progressives Grand Alliance, Frank Nweke Jr. was third with 17,983 votes while Nnaji, placed fourth, with 14,575 votes.

Nnaji asked the court to disqualify Mbah, Edeoga and Nweke Jr, claiming that they were not qualified to contest the election, having allegedly run foul of the asset declaration law among other reliefs.

Nnaji petition was dismissed by the Justice K.M Akano-led Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on June 20, 2023.

Dissatisfied, Nnaji approached the court of appeal, praying it to send the dismissed petition back to the Tribunal for hearing and determination of the suit.

The Enugu Division of the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Tribunal and dismissed the suit, awarded the sum of N250,000 each against Nnaji and the APC.

Delivering judgement on the appeal, a five-member panel of the apex court on Friday held that the legal team of the APC and Nnaji filed an invalid brief of argument and failed to convince the court with cogent reason why the appellants’ incompetent brief should be allowed.

In the lead judgment, Justice Tijani Abubakar held that since the appellant’s brief was found to be invalid, the invalidity also affected the appeal in respect of which the appeal was filed.

He proceeded to dismiss the brief and appeal filed by the appellants.

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