The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Enugu, on Thursday, upheld the election of Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party as the duly elected governor of Enugu state.
The three-man tribunal, chaired by Justice Kudirat Akano, which struck out allegations of over-voting, bypass of BVAS, said Mbah was duly elected as governor by majority of lawful and valid votes cast at the election.
The Tribunal also dismissed the NYSC certificate forgery suit brought by the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and the Labour Party against Mbah.
The Tribunal added that there was no evidence before it to support the petitioner’s claim that a forged certificate was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Chris Agu of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and Chijioke Edeoga of the LP had separately filed suits against Mbah challenging his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate on the grounds of it being forged.
The petitioners had alleged among others that Mbah was not qualified to contest the election and was not lawfully elected.
According to the tribunal, section 177 of the 1999 constitution is not a requirement for contesting governorship election.
The tribunal rejected Edeoga’s witnesses and ruled that the LP candidate did not present any admissible evidence to prove that Mbah’s certificate was forged.
On PRP’s petition, Akano said that the issue was not contained in the petitioner’s affidavit, stating that to prove forgery, both the original and the supposedly forged certificate ought to have been exhibited before the tribunal.
The tribunal held that the petitioner failed to prove that the respondent possessed the minimum requirements to stand for the election including school certificate or its equivalent.
It said therefore, there was no evidence to substantiate the claims adding that Mbah was not qualified to stand for the election.
On the issue of plea bargain by Mbah, the tribunal averred that the exhibit presented by the petitioners did not show any plea bargain by the respondent.