- The Benue state governorship election tribunal has upheld the election of Governor Hyacinth Alia
- The tribunal had earlier dismissed the petitions filed by the PDP and its candidate, Titus Uba
- Residents of the state have trooped out to celebrate the victory of the Governor at the tribunal
Makurdi, Benue – The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi has affirmed the victory of Governor Hyacinth Alia in the March 18 governorship election.
Subsequently, the court dismissed the petitions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Titus Uba in the March 18 governorship election.
The tribunal dismissed Uba and the PDP’s petitions over its lack of jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
Justice Ibrahim Karaye-led three-person panel of justices stated that the court did not have the jurisdiction to hear the issues raised by thePDP’s candidate before the tribunal. The justice explained that the issues were pre-election matters, spelt out in section 285 of the Electoral Act.
According to the court, the PDP and Uba should have pursued their case beyond the Federal High Court that dismissed the suits they filed to the Court of Appeal rather than bringing it before the tribunal.
Before the federal high court, the PDP and Uba had argued that Alia was not qualified to be nominated by the APC and alleged that Alia’s deputy, Sam Ode, had a forged certificate and had presented false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Alia, a Catholic priest, garnered 473,933 votes to defeat Uba of the PDP 223,913 and was subsequently declared the winner of the March 19 governorship election in the state.
The Plateau State Governorship tribunal had earlier affirmed the election of Governor Caleb Mutfwang. In its ruling, the court held that the petition by the APC and its candidate lacked merit.