The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress and its candidate in the last governorship election in Enugu State, Uche Nnaji, seeking to nullify the emergence of Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the election.
The APC candidate polled 14,575 votes and came fourth in the election, while Mbah polled 160,895 votes.
The APC candidate asked the court to disqualify Mbah, the Labour Party’s Chijioke Edeoga, and that of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Frank Nweke Jr.
He claimed the candidates were not qualified to contest the election, having allegedly run afoul of the asset declaration law, among other reliefs.
Nnaji’s petition was dismissed by the Justice K.M. Akano-led Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on June 20, 2023.
Dissatisfied, Nnaji approached the Court of Appeal, praying for it to send the dismissed petition back to the tribunal for hearing and determination of the suit.
The Enugu Division of the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the tribunal and dismissed the suit, awarding N250,000 each against Nnaji and the APC.
Delivering judgment on the appeal, a five-member panel of the apex court on Friday held that the legal team of the APC and Nnaji filed an invalid brief of argument and failed to convince the court with cogent reasons why the appellants’ incompetent brief should be allowed.
In the lead judgment, Justice Tijani Abubakar held that since the appellant’s brief was found to be invalid, the invalidity also affected the appeal in respect of which the appeal was filed.
The apex court held that since the appellants’ brief of argument was legally defective, it ultimately affected the substantive appeal.