National Youth Service Corps, NYSC has presented before the election petition tribunal in Enugu State an evidence to show that the sitting Governor of the State, Peter Mbah allegedly forged his certificate.
NYSC appeared as the first witness of the Labour Party and its candidate in the last Enugu State Governorship election, Chijioke Edeoga as the parties continued the defence of their petition against Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State at the Election Tribunal.
According to Vanguard Newspaper, the Election Tribunal at the resumed hearing of the petition filed by LP and its candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, appeared as their first witness whose official, Director of Certification, Aliyu Abdul Mohammed tendered some documents which were admitted by the tribunal as evidence.
“Among the documents tendered by the NYSC were the alleged forged discharge certificate used by Mbah as well as the original discharge certificate which they said Mbah ought to have collected. Also tendered was a letter written by Oma and Partners, an Abuja-based law firm, which had asked the Corps to scrutinize the discharge certificate submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, by the governor.
“The petitioners, represented by Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, leading Dr. Valerie Azinge, SAN, Ifeanyi Ogenyi and others, led the witness (PW1) in evidence.
“The witness, the Director of Certification, NYSC, Aliyu Abdul Mohammed adopted his written deposition on oath which was tendered and admitted in evidence by the tribunal.
“The third respondent, PDP, counsel, Anthony Ani, SAN, however, objected to the admissibility of the document and opted to move a motion dated and filed on the 7th day of July 2023, which seeks to pray the tribunal to strike out the written deposition on oath of the PW1 on the ground of incompetence. The 1st respondent, INEC, as well as the 2nd respondent (Peter Mbah) aligned themselves with the submission of Ani.
“Making their case, the respondents relied on the Court of Appeal decision in the case of ANDP & anor V INEC as well as that of Damina & Anor V Adamu and ors and asked the court to strike out the written deposition on oath of the PW1 for lack of competence.
“In response, the petitioners’ lawyers relying on the case of Ararume & Anor V INEC, which according to them, is a conflicting decision with the authorities cited by the respondents’ counsel, asked the court to admit the written deposition on oath of the PW1.
“In a short ruling, the tribunal admitted the document and reserved ruling on the objections raised by the respondents for final judgment.
“In his examination-in-chief, Mohammed told the tribunal that he acted on a subpoena served on the Director General of the NYSC or any other official to appear before the tribunal to give evidence to clear some issues bordering on the certificate purportedly issued by the agency.
“The subpoena was also admitted in evidence without objection from the respondents and was marked as exhibit PTC/01/06.
“Mohammed also tendered his official identity card as a staff of NYSC which was equally admitted in evidence and marked as exhibit PTC/01/07.
“In paragraph three (3) of the Petitioners’ Witness’s deposition on oath, the witness stated that in “obedience to the subpoena by the tribunal, he came with the authentic discharge certificate of the governor, as well as the one purportedly given to him”.
“The respondent’s counsel objected to the admissibility of the documents and reserved their reasons for final written addresses.
“The tribunal however admitted the documents and marked them as exhibits PTC/ 01/08 a and b”, Vanguard Newspaper report reads in quote.
However, the Labour Party and Its Candidate also also presented another witness, an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Mary Nneoma Elijah, a principal partner in the law firm of Oma and Partners as the Petitioners’ Witness 2.
A letter addressed to the presiding justice of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division, for the production of the appointment letter dated 14 July 2003, appointing Barr. Peter Mbah as the Chief of Staff to the then governor of Enugu State, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani in the same year he (Mbah) claimed he was serving, was admitted in evidence amidst objections and marked as exhibit PTC/01/13 a&b.
Enu matter was adjourned to Tuesday, 11 July 2023 for further hearing.