The Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has ordered Governor Peter Mbah to appear before it today.
The order was sequel to an application made by the Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, through its counsel, Alex Amujiogo.
Candidate of the PRP, Christopher Agu, is in court seeking to upturn the declaration of Peter Mbah as the winner of the March 18 governorship election conducted in the state.
He is also claiming that Mbah was not qualified to contest the election, having allegedly forged his National Youths Service Corps, NYSC, discharge certificate, among other issues.
At the resumed hearing, the PRP’s counsel, Amujiogo told the tribunal that Mbah was supposed to be in court as a subpoenaed witness.
He, however, said from the affidavit deposed to by the bailiff of the Tribunal, it had been difficult to serve Mbah the summon.
Amujiogo then moved an application, urging the Tribunal to grant a substituted service of the summon on Mbah through his counsel.
Although the application was opposed by the three respondents, the INEC, Mbah as well as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, because it was supposed to come by way of motion, supported by an affidavit during a pre-trial session, they were overruled by the Tribunal.
Chairman of the Panel, Justice K. M. Akano ordered that the subpoena be served on Mbah through his counsel and that he should appear before the Tribunal tomorrow,(today) June 23, 2023.
Earlier, the PRP guber candidate during the election, Agu, had also testified before the Tribunal as PW2.
An official of the NYSC from the National Secretariat, Abuja, Aliu Muhammed, who also appeared on behalf of the Director-General of the Corps, tendered an affidavit to the Tribunal, declaring that an order of a Federal High Abuja, was inhibiting them from tendering the disclaimer the Corps made against Mbah’s certificate.
The PRP lawyer, Amujiogo told journalists after the Tribunal’s sitting that “our PW2 (Christopher Agu) has already testified before the Tribunal and he has given a clearer picture, the synopsis of what transpired during the election, and we are urging the Tribunal to set aside the purported result in favour of Peter Mbah, the governor.
“We had an issue of a subpoena against Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, in which the Tribunal is urging him to appear before it to clarify certain issues against him, based on his NYSC certificate and other matters.
“Surprisingly, he was not in the Tribunal today and the bailiff informed the Tribunal that he is evading service, he cannot find him, and the security cannot allow him to serve Mbah the subpoena.
“Then, the Tribunal in its wisdom, after I have applied, has now permitted the bailiff or myself, to now serve Mbah through his counsel, for him to appear before the Tribunal tomorrow, being 23rd of June, 2023, and clarify certain issues against him before the Tribunal and we have already served him the said subpoena through his lawyer, Ik Onuoma today in court.
“So he must obey the summon of the Tribunal by appearing in person tomorrow, Friday.”
NYSC DG to appear before tribunal
Similarly, Director General of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Brigadier General Yushau Dogara Ahmed, will appear before the Enugu tribunal.
In a Tweet by the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, Dogara will appear before the tribunal over Enugu State Governor Peter Mbah’s alleged fake discharged certificate.
In February 2023, NYSC issued a letter signed by Ibrahim Muhammad, the scheme’s director of certifications, that the certificate belonging to Mbah was not issued by the corps.
Mbah sued NYSC for what he described as conspiracy, deceit, and misrepresentation of facts and demanded N20 billion compensation.
Speaking as a guest on Arise TV in May, the NYSC DG said he had met with Mbah and was frank with him, informing him the certificate is not from the scheme.
“This case is in court, and I may not want to say much but let me tell you the issue you are talking about. The person came to the NYSC for verification, and he was told the certificate is not issued from us.”