The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State, Chief Uche Nnaji has urged the Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal to declare him as the duly elected governor in the March 18 governorship election in the state.
Nnaji also asked the court to disqualify the governor-elect of the state, Peter Mbah and Chijioke Edeoga and Frank Nweke Jnr, candidates of the Labour Party (LP) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) respectively for not being qualified to participate in the election.
The APC candidate scored 14,575 votes to come a distant fourth in the election won by the PDP with 160,895 votes.
Nnaji, who spoke to newsmen through his counsel, Cosmas Enweluzo (SAN), at the end of the inaugural sitting of the tribunal in Enugu, said he would score the highest votes cast in the election if after the votes credited to the PDP, LP and APGA were discountenanced.
Enweluzo said, “Our prayers, among others are to declare our candidate as the duly elected governor of Enugu State in the March 18 governorship election in Enugu. This is because the person declared, Peter Mbah of the PDP, is not qualified to have contested this election in the first instance.
“Also, the second and third respondents, Chijioke Edeoga and Frank Nweke Jnr, who contested on the platforms of Labour Party (LP) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) respectively, were not members of the parties as at the time they emerged as candidates. Therefore, they were not qualified to contest the election in the first place.
“Now, when you jettison all the votes cast in their favour, APC candidate, Uche Nnaji, is the highest scorer in the election.
“However, if the tribunal is not minded to declare us duly elected governor of Enugu State, it should cancel the election and order INEC to conduct a fresh election between the APC and other parties that are qualified for the election. This is excluding the PDP, LP and APGA.
In another development, the tribunal has adjourned till June 2, hearing on the petition filed by the LP governorship candidate, Chijioke Edeoga.
One of Edeoga’s lawyers, Olajide Kumuyi, told journalists after the court sitting that matters could not go on because hearing sessions had not commenced yet due to the fact that parties were still filing processes.
“There are still applications still pending to be responded to”, he said.
Meanwhile, the tribunal has fixed Tuesday May 23 to hear the suit seeking to stop the inauguration of the Governor-elect, Peter Mbah on May 29.
The petitioners and governorship candidates of the ADP and PRP, believed that it would be an affront to justice for a party to be sworn in in a matter that is before the court.
Their lawyer, Alex Amujiogu, told newsmen: “It is a well known law that when a matter is before a court, parties are bound to maintain status quo pending when the matter will be determined.
“It will be an affront to justice to swear someone in while the matter is still in court.