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The Supreme Court, Friday, threw out the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its govenroship candidate, Uche Nnaji, challenging the victory of Governor Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the march 18 governorship election in Enugu State.
The apex court in its lead judgment of the five-man panel read by Justice Tijani Abubakar, the court held that the appellants’ legal team filed an invalid brief of argument and equally failed to convince the court with lucid and good reasons why the appeal should be granted.
Recall that Nnaji, who polled 14,575 votes against Mbah’s 160,895 votes to come a distant fourth in the 2023 gubernatorial election, had sought to leapfrog to the number one position and be declared Governor-elect for Enugu State.
He prayed the Enugu State Governorship Election Petition to disqualify Mbah and two other candidates in the election for various reasons, including alleged assets declaration breaches.
Others he prayed the court to disqualify were Labour Party Candidate, Chijioke Edeoga; and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, candidate, Frank Nweke Junior, who polled 157,552 votes, and 17,983 votes, respectively to place ahead of him.
Nnaji maintained that he was the only one qualified to run for the election and should therefore be declared winner.
But in June, the tribunal, chaired by Justice Kudurat M. Akano, dismissed his petition as incompetent, frivolous and not filed in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022. The Tribunal also awarded a cost of N200,000 each against Nnaji and the APC.
The petitioners proceeded to the the Court of Appeal seeking the leave of the court to regularise their petition, an appeal rejected by the appellate court in a lead judgment by Justice J.O.K Oyewole in July, which upheld the decision of the tribunal.
Delivering judgment in the appeal to the Supreme Court on Friday, the apex court upheld the decisions of the tribunal and the Court of Appeal, maintaining that since the appellants’ brief was found to be invalid, the invalidity also naturally affected the appeal in respect of which the appeal was filed.
The Supreme Court proceeded to dismiss the brief and appeal filed by the appellants.