The refusal of Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State to attend a Governorship Election Petition Tribunal hearing has sparked attention. The hearing revolves around an accusation of forgery brought by Alex Amujiogo, the candidate of the People’s Redemption Party. Despite the Tribunal’s order to serve Governor Mbah a subpoena through his legal representative, he did not make an appearance in court. Amujiogo expressed disappointment, stating, “My Lord, it is obvious that he is not in court under the pretense of immunity,” as he concluded his case due to the expiration of the allotted timeframe. The next steps in the proceedings now rest with the Tribunal.
Responding to the situation, Anthony Ani, the lead counsel for the Peoples Democratic Party, argued that the petitioner failed to correctly serve the subpoena in accordance with the law. Ani emphasized that the governor would appear if summoned properly, highlighting, “The petitioner has not complied with the mandatory provisions of the law; the default provision, respecting election petitions, is the Federal High Court Rules.”
The case, presided over by Justice K. M. Akano, has been adjourned until June 24, 2023, when the Independent National Electoral Commission, the first respondent, will present its defence.