The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu, on Thursday, dismissed NYSC certificate forgery suit brought by the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and the Labour Party against Governor Peter Mbah.
The three-man tribunal, chaired by Justice Kudirat Akano, said there was no evidence before it to support the petitioners’ claim that a forged certificate was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Mr Chris Agu of the PRP and Chijioke Edeoga of the LP had separately filed suits against Mbah challenging his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate on the ground of it being forged.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the petitioners had alleged among others that Mbah was not qualified to contest the election and was not lawfully elected.
According to the tribunal, section 177 of the 1999 constitution is not a requirement for contesting governorship election.
The tribunal rejected Edeoga’s witnesses and ruled that the LP candidate did not present any admissible evidence to prove that Mbah’s certificate was forged.
On PRP’s petition, Akano said that the issue was not contained in the petitioner’s affidavit, stating that to prove forgery, both the original and the supposedly forged certificate ought to have been exhibited before the tribunal.
The tribunal held that the petitioner failed to prove that the respondent possessed the minimum requirements to stand for the election including school certificate or its equivalent.
It said therefore, there was no evidence to substantiate the claims adding that Mbah was not qualified to stand for the election.
On the issue of plea bargain by Mbah, the tribunal averred that the exhibit presented by the petitioners did not show any plea bargain by the respondent.
Akano further ruled that Mbah was duly elected by majority of votes cast at the election held on March 18.