The supreme court has dismissed an appeal seeking to nullify the election of Peter Mbah as the governor of Enugu state.
In a unanimous judgment on Friday, a five-member panel of justices held that the All Progressives Congress (APC), and its candidate in the state’s governorship election, Uche Nnaji, filed an “invalid brief of argument”.
Tijani Abubakar, who read the lead judgment, held that the invalid process filed by the appellants could not be relied upon to invalidate Mbah’s victory in the election.
Consequently, the apex court dismissed the case for being incompetent.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Mbah the winner of the March 18 governorship election with 160,895 votes.
Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party (LP) came second with 157,552 votes while Frank Nweke of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) polled 17, 983 votes to claim third place. Nnaji occupied the fourth position with 14,575 votes.
Dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, Nnaji filed a petition to challenge Mbah’s electoral victory.
Nnaji argued that Mbah was at the time of the election, not eligible to contest, alleging that he presented a forged certificate to INEC, to aid his qualification.
Also, the APC candidate submitted that Mbah was not duly elected by a majority of the votes cast in the election.
He prayed the tribunal to disqualify Mbah, Edeoga, and Nweke and either declare him the winner of the poll or order INEC to conduct a runoff election between him and other candidates, excluding Mbah and the PDP.
However, in a ruling delivered on June 20, the Enugu state governorship election petition tribunal dismissed the suit on the grounds that it was not filed in compliance with provisions of the electoral act 2022.
Not satisfied with the judgement, Nnaji approached the court of appeal in Enugu, seeking to set aside the decision of the tribunal.
But the appeal was also dismissed.