Court Ruling On Mbah’s NYSC Bizarre, Aimed At Undermining Democracy — Labour Party

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The Labour Party has described Monday’s ruling of the Abuja High Court regarding a discharge certificate which the Governor of Enugu state, Peter Mbah said was issued to him by the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC as bizarre, aimed at undermining democracy in the country.

The Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo had dismissed the forgery case against Mbah insisting that the certificate in which the governor presented to aid his election was authentic and was issued by NYSC.

The Labour Party frowned at the judgment in a statement on Wednesday by Obiora Ifoh, its National Publicity Secretary stating it “is yet another strange rulings of the court aimed at ridiculing the nation’s judiciary and undermining our democracy.”

The party said the Court pretended not to know many facts about the case including that “it’s a matter that came up before the Court of Appeal in Lagos the same day he delivered the unusual judgment.

“Justice Ekwo not only slammed a N5 million fine against NYSC and ordered it not to disown Mbah’s forged Certificate, but ruled that Mbah not only served but that the certificate he has was issued by NYSC.”

By the ruling, the party said his Lordship feigned ignorance of multiple pieces of evidence already produced in Courts to show that Mbah was a Chief of Staff to the Governor of Enugu state at a time he claimed he was performing National Service in a firm in Lagos.

The party also disagreed with the Judge for refusing “to recognize the fact that the forged Certificate Mbah is parading does not bear any resemblance in coding and font to those who passed out the year he claimed.”

The Party recalled “how Mbah made frantic efforts through this very court to stop NYSC from coming to disown a forged certificate being carried on its name during the Tribunal hearing of his case in Enugu until an Appeal Court in Abuja ordered it to go.

“The same justice Ekwo at the time when the Enugu Governorship election tribunal was constituted granted Peter Mbah of the PDP an ex parte injunction that he sought which effectively barred NYSC from going to the tribunal to testify.

“The exparte order was illegally sustained beyond the permissible life of the exparte to the point where NYSC could not properly respond to the invitation of PRP to give testimony.

“This state of affairs persisted into the life of the tribunal until LP in mid-July approached the Court of Appeal which graciously ordered NYSC to obey the subpoena of the Enugu Governorship Election Tribunal.”

The Labour Party said that by that ruling on Monday, the court “is trying to use itself as a vehicle to destroy a credible federal institution like NYSC and warned that it would have far-reaching consequences.”

It noted that Justice Ekwo ruling also failed to take into cognizance several legal authorities of superior Courts that issuing authority remains the final on authenticating certificates.

The Party added that the “objective of this offbeat and curious ruling is essentially to ambush and weaken the case of well-laid points by its gubernatorial flag bearer, Hon. Chijoke Edeoga whom the voting population of Enugu state voted for overwhelmingly.”

It therefore asked “the Judiciary to save itself from anything that will undermine the will of the people of Enugu state as freely expressed to a very great degree on March 8, 2023.”

The case of certificate forgery is different from the appeal by the Labour Party, in which its candidate is challenging the judgment of the tribunal which affirmed Mbah’s election.

The Labour Party is challenging Mbah’s election on three main grounds of certificate forgery by seeking his disqualification, noncompliance with extant laws especially the Electoral Act 2022 (amended) and vote switching.

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