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LP Protests Tribunal’s Decision on Enugu Governor’s Election

The Labour Party (LP) and its candidate, Chijioke Edoga, have voiced their rejection of the judgment delivered by the Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal. The tribunal dismissed their petitions challenging the victory of Governor Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18 governorship election in the state.

In a unanimous decision delivered by its chairman, Justice Kudirat Akano, the tribunal declared the LP’s petition against Mbah as incompetent and lacking in merit, leading to the dismissal of all grounds of the petition.

One of the key allegations in the LP’s petition was that Governor Mbah had forged his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate. However, the tribunal ruled in favor of Mbah, stating that the NYSC certificate is not a qualification required for the office of a governor, as outlined in the constitution. The tribunal highlighted that the necessary academic qualification is a school certificate, and the NYSC certificate does not disqualify a candidate who meets constitutional requirements.

The LP’s contention that Mbah did not secure a majority of valid votes was also dismissed by the tribunal. However, the petitioners’ claim of over-voting in some polling units in Amagu Ugbawka, Nkanu East Local Government Area, was accepted. Consequently, the tribunal canceled these votes and reduced both candidates’ vote counts.

Governor Mbah welcomed the tribunal’s verdict as a victory for democracy and Enugu State. He extended an offer of cooperation to opposition candidates and their political parties, emphasizing the need for collective efforts in building the state.

In contrast, the LP and its candidate, Edoga, expressed their intention to challenge the tribunal’s decision on appeal. They affirmed their readiness to contest the outcome through legal channels as permitted by law.

The verdict from the Court of Appeal will be awaited to determine the final resolution of this election dispute.

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