One of the foremost Civil Society Organisations (CSOS) in Enugu State, Hill Top United (HTU), has declared that Governor Peter Mbah”s stay in office is temporary because he has what it calls an incurably defective mandate.
No armada of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) can save him from either the ongoing Enugu State Governorship and House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal or the Court of Appeal”, stated the group this morning in a statement in Enugu signed by its chairman, Comrade Augustine Uche Udeh, and its Director of Publicity, Chief Ambrose Ozoene
“The PDP and its candidate in the gubernatorial election have an incurably defective case on different fronts, which no lawyers, however clever, can rescue”.
Governor Mbah and his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are being defended at the tribunal by 10 SANS, including Chief Wole Olanipekun, a former Nigerian Bar Association president, and Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, the leader of the English Constitution of the Free Mansory in Nigeria, plus three others hired by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to defend its controversial declaration of Mbah as the winner of the gubernatorial election.
Other SANS defending both Mbah and the PDP in the suit filed by the Labour Party and its governorship candidate in the March 18 gubernatorial election in Enugu State, Barrister Chijioke Edeoga, are Chief (Mrs) A.J. Offiah, Ahmed Raji, and Mr Bode Olanipekun.
Dr Alex Iziyon, who once ran unsuccessfully to be the NBA president, Mr D.D. Dodo, Mr Anthony Ani, Mr Tochukwu Maduka and Alhaji Kamalden Ajibade are also among the SANS working for Mbah and the PDP.
(INEC) is being defended in the case by Alhaji T.M Inuwa, Alhaji Alhassan Umar, and Alhaji Abdul Mohammed.
“This is the first and only time in Nigeria’s history that as many as 13 SANs are defending just one gubernatorial candidate in a case”, observed the HTU, which added that “this is so because the PDP and its candidate brazenly stole the mandate of the Enugu people in broad daylight in connivance with INEC, and are desperately doing everything possible to keep the stolen mandate.
“All this is being financed with the resources of our people which former Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi made available to Mbah; this is in addition to the N13 billion Mbah borrowed from Fidelity Bank and Polaris Bank under the guise of financing the operations of Pinnacle Oil and Gas Company Ltd”.
The CSO accused Mnah of hiring such a number of SANs from different parts of Nigeria to “confuse, browbeat and intimidate the Election Petitions Tribunal into sanctioning the iniquity of INEC’s declaration of the PDP as triumphant in the governorship poll”.
The HTU, however, lauded the tribunal members for their self-confidence and mastery of the law, “as examplified by Chief Olanipeku’s failed attempt to sway them with sentiments and theatricals over Mbah’s forged National Youth Service Corps discharge certificate.
“No person with an authentic certificate can sue the body which issued him or her the certificate in order to stop it from testifying on the status of the certificate, as Mbah has sensationally done”.
The group sad that it is tough for INEC to defend the 16,000 votes it announced the PDP won in Mbah’s home local government area of Nkanu East which is made up of small villages with scanty populations.
The Enugu INEC office had initially announced that the PDP got over 31,000 votes, but the commission’s national headquarters brought the number down to some 16,000 on March 22, four days after the poll.
“What took place as the official outcome of the Enugu gubernatorial election remains an unintelligent tragicomedy”, stated the HTU.
“It is known to every person in Enugu that Mbah’s stay in Government House is transient”.