Enugu: Court Declines Edeoga’s Bid To Join Suit Upholding Mbah’s NYSC Cert, Awards Cost

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On Wednesday Justice Binta Mohammed of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), dismissed a motion for joinder filed by the Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in Enugu State, Chijioke Edeoga, to challenge the court’s judgment upholding the authenticity of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate of the state’s governor, Dr. Peter Mbah.

Justice Mohammed also awarded N200,000 cost against the LP candidate for filing what she called a frivolous motion.

The court dismissed the motion after it was withdrawn by the applicant in the open court.

According to the court, issues have been joined in the matter and “therefore, the proper order to make is that of dismissal. The motion is hereby dismissed and a cost of N200,000 is awarded against the applicant.”

It will be recalled that the Registered Trustees of the People’s Wellbeing Association had in a suit number FCT/HC/2399/23 sued the governor of Enugu State over the authenticity of his NYSC discharge certificate.

But, the court in its March 8, 2023 judgment upheld Mbah’s certificate as genuine, a decision the group appealed against at the Court of Appeal even when Edeoga prayed for leave of the lower court to appeal against the court’s decision as an interested party.

In the affidavit by his lawyer in support of the motion, he said: “The Applicant was the Governorship Candidate of the Labour Party in the concluded governorship election in Enugu state, held on the 18th day of March, 2023.

“After the declaration of Mr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah as Governor-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Applicant commenced an election petition before the Governorship Election Tribunal agitating for, amongst other grounds, the disqualification of the Defendant herein, Mr. Ndubuisi Mbah, for presenting a forged National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) Certificate to INEC.

“That the judgment sought to be appealed against adversely affects the interest of the Applicant in that regard.

“That High Court of the Federal Capital Territory does not have jurisdiction to adjudicate the matter before it, over question of qualification by virtue of Section 29(5) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

“That the Applicant only became aware of the judgement upon receipt of the Defendant’s reply before the Election Petition Tribunal.

“The Trial Court rightly declined jurisdiction, but proceeded to make pronouncement on the purported counterclaim.

“That the judgment is currently being paraded as a judgment in rem that binds the whole world.

“The Applicant has sufficient interest to challenge the pronouncement of the Court regarding the propriety or otherwise of the NYSC certificate, with certificate No: A808297 presented to INEC and the decision that the Defendant was qualified to contest.

“It will be in the interest of Justice to accede to this application.”

But, the Court dismissed his prayers and awarded a cost of N200,000 against him for filing a frivolous motion.

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