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Inside story of why Supreme Court throws out APC suit, affirms Peter Mbah’s victory

Inside story of why Supreme Court throws out APC suit, affirms Peter Mbah’s victory

The Supreme Court has declined to nullify the election victory of Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State.

In a unanimous decision by a five-member panel of Justices, the apex court dismissed as incompetent, an appeal that the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its candidate in the state, Uche Nnaji, filed to challenge the return of Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as winner of the gubernatorial contest.

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In its lead judgement that was prepared by Justice Tijani Abubakar, the Supreme Court, held that Nnaji and his party filed an invalid brief of argument. It held that the appellants failed to adduce any cogent reason why the invalid process they filed should be relied upon to invalidate Governor Mbah’s election victory.

According to the apex court, since the appellants’ brief of argument was legally defective, it ultimately affected the substantive appeal. Consequently, it dismissed the case of the appellants for being incompetent.

It will be recalled that the Court of Appeal in Enugu had on July 18, also dismissed Nnaji’s case against Mbah. The appellate court held that the appeal marked:CA/E/E/EP/GOV/EN/01/2023, lacked merit, even as it upheld the verdict of the Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which affirmed governor Mbah’s election victory.

Besides, the appellate court awarded a cost of N250,000 each, against Nnaji and the APC.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had at the end of the gubernatorial poll in Enugu state, declared that Mbah garnered a total of 160,895 votes to defeat Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party, LP, who scored 157,552 votes. While Frank Nweke Jnr. of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, came third with 17, 983 votes, Nnaji, came fourth with 14,575 votes.

Jude Ogbonna

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