The leadership of the Labour Party has vowed to do all within its powers to prove that the current Governor-elect of Enugu State, Peter Mbah, was not qualified to contest the governorship poll following an allegation that he presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Mbah’s victory in the last governorship election in the state has raised dust among his critics and members of the opposition, who expressed strong conviction that did not win the poll.
Two weeks ago, a coalition of human rights groups under the aegis of ‘Support for the Rule of Law and Justice Initiative’ had raised a fresh alarm over a purported move by the governor-elect to change the documents he submitted to INEC to cover up the allegation of perjury levelled against him.
The group announced that it had uncovered a plot to remove Mbah’s file that contained the alleged forged certificate of the National Youth Service Corps.
But the Enugu governor-elect maintained his innocence, saying he served out his one-year mandatory service and was duly discharged.
He also challenged the scheme to subject the said certificate to forensic examination, saying after graduating in law from the University of East London in 2000, he returned to Nigeria and was admitted into the bar part 1 programme of the Nigerian law school.
On completion of the examination, he was required to wait for the bar part 2 programme and was told to enrol in the one-year NYSC programme instead of wasting time sitting around.
As the accusation and counter-accusation continued, The PUNCH reported that a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday restrained the National Youth Service Corps from further issuing any disclaimer, denying the issuance of a certificate to Mbah.
The presiding judge, Inyang Ekwo, gave the ruling following the ex parte application filed by the governor-elect through his lawyer, Emeka Ozoani.
While the judge granted prayer one on the motion paper, he, however, refused to grant prayer two on the ground that it was far-reaching but instead ordered the plaintiff to serve the defendants with court processes within two days of the order.
According to him, the second prayer was an issue to be adjudicated upon in the substantive suit.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, Acting National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh, disclosed that they won’t give up the fight until injustice is served.
Ifoh noted that the party will start shopping for available and substantial evidence to prove Mbah was not qualified to contest in the first place.
He said, “In the coming days, the Labour Party will do all within its powers to prove that Mr Peter Mbah was not qualified to contest the election of Governor of Enugu State, having presented a forged certificate to INEC and did not win the election.
“We must all join hands as patriotic citizens to hold those who seek to lead us accountable. Forging public documents and compromising security and judicial institutions in a bid to conceal the facts must be condemned by all.”
The LP image maker also berated the Inspector General of Police for developing ‘cold feet’ during the investigation of the forgery allegations against the governor-elect.
He also reiterated that if Mbah’s NYSC certificate is genuine, he does not need to be running after court pronouncements to gag any person or institution.
“It is very unfortunate that the Inspector General of Police has developed cold feet in the investigation of the forgery allegations against Mr Peter Mbah. It is also very nauseating to observe that at a time the NYSC is celebrating its 50 years of beautiful records and existence, the present Director General of the Corps has decided to destroy the long history of the reputation of the scheme by refusing to respond to the inquiry ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction to the AIG Zone 7.
“If Mr Peter Mbah’s certificate of national Service is genuine, would he need to be running from court to court to gag people and institutions not to talk about it?
“If your certificate is genuine, why do you need several court pronouncements and forum shopping to validate it?” he queried.