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Supreme Court dismisses APC’s appeal against Enugu Gov’s victory

Enugu Gov, Peter Mbah

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Nigeria dismissed the appeal filed by the APC and its candidate, Uche Nnaji, challenging the victory of Governor Peter Mbah of the PDP in the last Enugu governorship election.

Governor Peter Mbah secured victory with 160,895 votes, while the APC candidate, Uche Nnaji, placed a distant fourth with 14,575 votes.

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Nnaji had sought to disqualify Governor Mbah, as well as candidates from the Labour Party, Chijioke Edeoga, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Frank Nweke Jr., alleging that they were not qualified to contest the election due to alleged violations of asset declaration laws, among other claims.

The Enugu Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, led by Justice K.M. Akano, dismissed Nnaji’s petition on June 20, 2023.

Dissatisfied with the tribunal’s decision, Nnaji appealed to the Court of Appeal, requesting that the dismissed petition be sent back to the tribunal for further consideration.

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However, the Enugu Division of the Court of Appeal upheld the tribunal’s decision and also imposed a fine of N250,000 each against Nnaji and the APC.

In the recent judgment, a five-member panel of the Supreme Court ruled that the legal team of the APC and Nnaji had filed an invalid brief of argument and failed to provide convincing reasons for the acceptance of their incompetent brief.

Justice Tijani Abubakar, delivering the lead judgment, stated that the invalidity of the appellant’s brief also affected the appeal itself, leading to the dismissal of both the brief and the appeal filed by the appellants.

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