In a decisive ruling on Friday, the Supreme Court affirmed the election victory of Governor Peter Mbah in Enugu State. The unanimous decision was delivered by a five-member panel of Justices, dismissing an appeal brought by the Labour Party (LP) and its candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, challenging the outcome of the governorship election held on March 18.
The apex court, citing the concurrent verdicts of the Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal in Lagos, found no grounds to overturn Governor Mbah’s win under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
All issues raised in the appeal by the LP and Edeoga were systematically addressed and resolved against them by the Supreme Court. Notably, the Court of Appeal in Lagos had previously, on November 10, upheld Governor Mbah’s election by dismissing three key issues raised by the LP and Edeoga.
The appellate court, led by Justice Tani Yusuf-Hassan, ruled unanimously that the appellants failed to substantiate their claim that Governor Mbah was ineligible to contest the gubernatorial poll. Despite allegations of widespread over-voting in Mbah’s strongholds, the appellants were unable to provide the voters’ register used in the election to support their claim.
The Court of Appeal maintained that the LP and its candidate did not furnish sufficient evidence to justify overturning the Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal’s earlier dismissal of their case. Consequently, the appeal was deemed lacking in merit, and Governor Mbah’s victory was affirmed.
Dissatisfied with the appellate court’s decision, Edeoga pursued the matter to the Supreme Court, where, on Friday, he faced another defeat.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Governor Mbah of the PDP as the winner of the gubernatorial contest, securing a total of 160,895 votes. The Supreme Court’s ruling solidifies Mbah’s position as the duly elected governor of Enugu State.