July 21, 2024

The Labour Party has reacted angrily to Thursday’s tribunal decision upholding the election of Enugu State Governor Peter Mbah.

The opposition party, which narrowly lost the governorship seat in Enugu in the March 2023 election, called the tribunal’s decision a miscarriage of justice.

The party has petitioned the Tribunal to dismiss Governor Mbah, claiming a forged National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate among other things.

The Tribunal, however, disregarded the claims and dismissed the petition, finding that there was no circumvention of the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) or over-voting.

However, in a statement signed by the party’s National Chairman, Barr. Julius Abure, the judgment was branded as ridiculous.

“The Enugu Governorship Tribunal judgement against the Labour Party is an absurd, stark reality of the future of the judiciary in Nigeria.

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“Today, the Labour Party watched in horror as another absurdity played out in Enugu, where the Governorship and House of Assembly Tribunal dismissed allegations of NYSC certificate forgery against the PDP candidate, Peter Mbah.

“The tribunal also struck out our party’s allegations of over-voting and bypass of BVAS, insisting that Peter Mbah was duly elected as governor by the majority of lawful and valid votes cast at the election.”

“Though we will seek redress at the Supreme Court immediately, knowing that justice was miscarried in this particular case and that the tribunal judgement cannot stand, we are worried about the level of degeneration in our judiciary, where ridiculous rulings are frequently churned out from the hallowed temple of justice.

“Our case before the tribunal was a clear case of electoral robbery, where we pointed out that in Enugu, after the collation of 16 LGAs out of the 17 LGAs of the state, our candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, was leading with over 11,000 votes.

“Surprisingly, the PDP in Enugu, working in cahoots with INEC, shockingly and provocatively wrote and awarded to the PDP a whopping 30,000 votes at Nkanu East LGA, the LGA of the PDP candidate.

“We pointed out that the figures from the INEC BVAS showed that Nkanu East LGA recorded a total number of 15,000 accredited voters on election day.

“However, when the votes were declared, the PDP was allocated a total number of 30,350 votes, while a total number of 1,855 was credited to the Labour Party.

“So, we asked how INEC could have turned out over 33,000 votes in a place where only about 15,000 voters were accredited.

“We had also asked the tribunal to disqualify the PDP candidate for presenting a fake NYSC certificate.

“The authority of NYSC confirmed that the PDP candidate absconded from service and that the certificate he paraded was not issued by them.”

“Doesn’t that seem like an open and shut case? Yet, the tribunal saw nothing in a clear case of electoral forgery and perjury.

“In the wake of this judgement, we were aware of a series of visits made by Mbah to Aso Rock, and we also took note of his increasing confidence lately.

“However, we ignored these ominous signs while hoping that the blind Lady of Justice would act impartially. But we are shocked by this judicial endorsement.

“The Labour Party may be weeping today for this travesty of justice, but we do not know whose turn it will be tomorrow.

“Evil, they say, triumphs when the righteous keep silent and when they refuse to condemn it.”

“We also think that the judiciary has a key role to play in keeping our democracy alive and safe.

” We, therefore, call for a concerted effort by all well-meaning Nigerians to guide this all-important arm of government and ensure that it is not captured by the state.

” We must all rise to save our democracy,” concluded the National Chairman of the Labour Party.”

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