Tribunal upholds Gov. Alia’s election

The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi has upheld the victory of Governor Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18 Governorship Election. The tribunal’s chairman, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, delivered the unanimous judgment, stating that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain the pre-election issues raised by the petitioners, Titus Uba and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Justice Karaye further noted that the petitioners’ case was an abuse of court processes because the same case had been filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, and its judgment had not been challenged by the petitioners. The tribunal also found that the petitioners lacked the standing to challenge the nomination of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates of the APC.

The petitioners had challenged the qualifications of Governor Alia and Dr. Sam Ode to contest the election and alleged that the APC had not followed the provisions of the law in the nomination of its candidates. They also claimed that Dr. Ode had presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and should be disqualified.

In their counterarguments, the respondents urged the tribunal to dismiss the suit, stating that it was an abuse of court processes. They pointed out that the Federal High Court in Abuja had already delivered judgment on the same matter before the election, and the petitioners had not appealed that judgment.

The respondents also argued that the issues raised by the petitioners were pre-election matters and fell under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court. They maintained that the petitioners lacked the standing to challenge the nomination of candidates from other political parties.

As a result of the tribunal’s decision, Governor Hyacinth Alia’s victory in the Benue State Governorship Election was upheld, and the case brought by the petitioners was dismissed.

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