Benue Guber: Tribunal Upholds Alia’s Victory

The election of Governor Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was upheld by the Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi.

The Peoples Democratic Party and Titus Uba, its governorship candidate, filed a petition challenging the March 18 election, but the tribunal dismissed it because it lacked authority to hear the case.

The Catholic priest Alia received 473,933 votes than his nearest challenger, Uba, who received 223,913 votes, according to the INEC’s results announced after the election in March.

Justice Ibrahim Karaye, who served as the panel’s chairman and was one of the three justices on the three-person panel, ruled that the tribunal lacked the authority to hear the case since the problems stated were pre-election matters, which are covered under section 285 of the Electoral Act.

The tribunal based its decision on the petitioner’s failure to pursue their case regarding Governor Alia’s nomination by the APC, as well as the allegations of forged certificates and false information on form EC9 against their deputy Sam Ode. The petitioner should have pursued these matters beyond the Federal High Court, which had already dismissed their earlier suit. Specifically, they ought to have taken them up with the Court of Appeal rather than relying solely on the tribunal for resolution.

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