Enugu Tribunal: Your case is weak, consider withdrawal – Isi-Uzo youths tell kinsman, Edeoga

By Chamberlain Udoye

Following the aftermath of Sunday’s tribunal proceedings where the Labour Party witness had told the Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that Peter Mbah, Enugu governor, was the actual winner of the March 18 governorship election in Enugu State, a group under the aegis of Isi-Uzo Youths General Assembly led by Barr. Osita Nwankwo has called on their kinsman, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, the Labour Party candidate in the March 18 governorship election to consider withdrawing his petition against the state governor having seen that his evidence at the tribunal is dead on arrival and standing on one wobbling leg.

Recall that on Sunday, 16 July, 2023, Frank Nweke Jr., governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) after witnessing what happened in the tribunal between the lawyers of Edeoga and Mbah, had told the tribunal that he would seek to withdraw his petition challenging Mbah’s emergence as the governor of Enugu State, maintaining that he is finding it difficult to provide substantial evidence which would have helped in the prosecution of his matter.

His case was however struck out by the tribunal after the first, second and third respondents fail to object his application.

The subpoenaed prosecution witness 30, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) called by Edeoga had on Sunday, yesterday told the tribunal that Peter Mbah never included NYSC certificate in the affidavit submitted to the commission, maintaining that all that were included in the items in the affidavit are his First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC), West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), and Bachelor of Law Certificate (BL).

He however maintained that Mbah met with the requirements of the law to vie for the office of the governor of the state, and that the election that brought him to power was free, fair and credible, urging the tribunal to declare him the winner of the March 18 governorship election.

Barr. Nwankwo in a statement released to the press on Monday, 17 July, 2023 advised the Labour Party candidate, Edeoga to withdraw his case as it has become so glaring that he has no serious case against the governor.

He maintained that what transpired at the tribunal on Sunday when his lawyers in the subpoena issued to the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Chukwuemeka Chukwu, failed to identify the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines with their codes as the practice of the INEC demands showed the unpreparedness of Labour Party and Edeoga’s lawyers in proving their case of rigging, stating that what wins a case is one’s ability to prove a case with incontrovertible evidence and conviction.

“As a lawyer, I am equally aware that BVAS machines are being identified with codes, it is a common knowledge. You alleged rigging and yet you couldn’t identify properly the codes of the BVAS machines that were used in those polling units where the alleged rigging was perpetrated. It is a total minus to them and such is unhealthy for their case. I am not pre-empting the court but I am making my own opinion as a lawyer who has been in the temple of justice for over 25 years,” Nwankwo’s noted.

Taking a swipe at the Labour Party candidate, Nwankwo also queries the rationale for challenging the qualification of Mbah at the tribunal when Edeoga as a lawyer knew that only qualified lawyers are being admitted into the Nigerian Law School which Mbah had attended before being called to the Nigerian Bar.

He equally maintained that even if the NYSC discharge certificate of Mbah was submitted to the INEC, the affidavit which he had sworn to the commission has already taken precedence and shall as a matter of fact be relied upon. He equally reminded Edeoga of the NYSC stamp which was found on the discharge certificate being tendered as exhibit before the tribunal, identified by the INEC staff on Tuesday, 11 July, 2023 during cross-examination by Mbah’s lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN).

“Affidavit is a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court. Mbah had given items in the affidavit submitted to the INEC as follows; First School Leaving Certificate, West Africa Examination Council and Bachelor of Law. The Labour Party witness, INEC, had equally confirmed this before the tribunal. Therefore, NYSC certificate or not, so far it doesn’t appear in the said affidavit, it is as good as never submitted because the affidavit according to law, will now take precedence,” the group’s president maintained.

He therefore, enjoined the Labour Party candidate not to be deceived by lawyers who are looking for ways to make money through desperate politicians but should think deeply on what has transpired before the tribunal prior to the closure of his case on Sunday and decide on whether to discontinue and save his money and integrity or embark on a fruitless journey which would earn him nothing but a shameful defeat.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button