From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
Disquiet could best describe the atmosphere in Enugu metropolis as the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu would this morning deliver its judgment on the petitions challenging the declaration and return of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Peter Mbah for the 2023 governorship election in the state.
The Justice Kudirat Morayo Akano-led three-member tribunal had at the end of hearing reserved its judgment and on Tuesday announced today’s judgment date to kick off by 9am.
Since the announcement of the judgment date the mood in the state has changed to that of panic and apprehension in the camps of the two major contenders, the ruling PDP and Labour Party (LP).
Political watchers and analysts have described the matter between LP’s Chijioke Edeoga and PDP’s Governor Mbah as the most interesting in the history of post-election legal disputes in the state.
Edeoga and LP had gone to the tribunal contesting among other things the authenticity of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate presented by Mbah, whom the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the winner of the election.
They also alleged that Mbah failed to fulfill his mandatory youth service obligations before assuming a political post in 2003, just as they contested the validity of the votes accrued during the electoral process.
The petitioners raised allegations of wide electoral malpractice and rigging particularly in Owo and Ugbawka wards in Nkanu East, Enugu East and Udenu local governments where they alleged that computation errors reduced their votes.
However, there were robust legal arguments and citations during the hearing with both parties presenting the tribunal with witnesses and evidence that were accepted as exhibits.
Supporters of both parties have gone into spiritual meditations and would keep vigil to seek God’s face for favour.
Security sources said adequate security arrangements have been made by the various security agencies spearheaded by the Police to ensure there would be no breakdown of law and order.
The Sun News