The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Uche Nnaji. The appeal challenged the election victory of Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State.
Mbah, a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, won the election with 160,895 votes. Nnaji, who garnered 14,575 votes, came in fourth place.
Nnaji had initially petitioned the Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal. He claimed that Mbah and other candidates violated the asset declaration law. The tribunal dismissed the petition on June 20, 2023.
Nnaji then approached the Court of Appeal. The court upheld the tribunal’s decision and imposed a fine of N250,000 on both Nnaji and the APC.
The Supreme Court’s five-member panel found the legal brief filed by APC and Nnaji invalid. Justice Tijani Abubakar led the judgment, dismissing the appeal.
The Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the APC’s appeal against Governor Peter Mbah’s election victory is a significant milestone in Nigeria’s electoral jurisprudence. It underscores the importance of adhering to legal procedures and the rule of law in challenging election outcomes.
The case also highlights the limitations of legal challenges in electoral disputes. The APC and its candidate, Uche Nnaji, failed to present a compelling case, leading to the dismissal of their appeal at multiple judicial levels.
Imposing a fine by the Court of Appeal is a deterrent to frivolous lawsuits. It sends a message that the judicial system will not entertain baseless challenges to election outcomes.
Did You Know?
- Enugu State is located in southeastern Nigeria and is one of the country’s 36 states.
- The All Progressives Congress (APC) is one of Nigeria’s two major political parties.
- The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the main opposition party in Nigeria and has been in power in Enugu State for several years.
- The Nigerian Supreme Court is the highest in the land, with final decisions.
- A Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal first hears election petitions in Nigeria before they can be appealed to higher courts.