The Enugu governorship election petitions tribunal has affirmed the victory of Governor Peter Mbah in the March 18 gubernatorial poll.
The judgment was delivered on Thursday afternoon, favouring Mr Mbah, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party. Justice Kudirat Akano delivered the judgement on behalf of the panel.
On Wednesday, Peoples Gazette reported that the Enugu tribunal verdict was imminent today. The governor’s challenger, Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party, had asked the tribunal to nullify Mr Mbah’s victory.
Mr Edeoga had prayed the court to declare him the validly elected governor of Enugu.
Among the contentious matters before the tribunal was the authenticity of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate presented by Mr Mbah to contest the election, with the Labour Party alleging Mr Mbah failed to fulfil his mandatory youth service obligations before assuming a political post in 2003.
The panel members said that the petitioner could not prove an allegation of forgery because the NYSC witness who did that was not a witness before them.
The broader issues surrounding Mr Mbah’s election victory also encompass fierce debates regarding the validity of the votes accrued during the electoral process.
Furthermore, allegations of extensive electoral malpractice and rigging have cast a shadow over the outcome, particularly in Owo and Ugbawka.