The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Enugu has dismissed an application made by the Labour Party candidate, Mr Chijioke Edoga, to interrogate Governor Peter Mbah regarding his credentials. The tribunal’s Chairman, Justice M. K Akano, delivered the ruling on Saturday, stating that the application was akin to a “fishing expedition.”
Justice Akano agreed with the arguments put forth by the counsel to the People Democratic Party, Tochukwu Maduka, and Governor Mbah’s counsel, Ikechukwu Onuoma. They contended that the questions posed by the petitioners were not included in their initial petition and that the application sought to amend the petition, which is not permissible under the provisions of the electoral Act.
In addition to the ruling, the tribunal also presented its report on the pre-hearing session, highlighting the issues raised by both parties. According to the resolution, the petitioners were granted seven days to substantiate their case, while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was given two days to present its witnesses. The second and third respondents were allowed four days to call their witnesses.
Following the ruling, Mr Ifeanyi Ogenyi, the counsel representing the Labour Party, informed reporters that the ruling pertained to the petitioner’s application for interrogatories. The petitioner sought answers regarding Governor Mbah’s appointments, such as Chief of Staff and Commissioner for Finance, as well as details about his legal qualifications and educational institutions attended.
Ogenyi explained that the court ruled that such questions could be addressed during cross-examination or through the petitioner’s evidence, based on Governor Mbah’s response to the petition.