In a recent ruling, the Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in the state’s capital, Makurdi, confirmed Governor Hyacinth Alia’s victory. The tribunal dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Titus Uba.
Justice Ibrahim Karaye, the Chairman of the three-man panel of justices, delivered the judgment, emphasizing that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to consider the petition. The issues raised in the petition were deemed pre-election matters, as outlined in section 285 of the Electoral Act.
The PDP and Titus Uba contested the outcome of the 2023 governorship election, in which Alia, a former Catholic priest, was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Alia, running on the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform, secured 473,933 votes, defeating his closest rival, Titus Uba of the PDP, who garnered 223,913 votes.
Unsatisfied with INEC’s declaration of Alia as the winner, the PDP and Uba sought to overturn the election results in their favour through the tribunal. They alleged non-compliance with electoral laws and the APC candidates’ submission of false documents to INEC.
However, the tribunal ruled that the petitioner should have pursued the issues of non-qualification and Governor Alia’s nomination by the APC, as well as the allegations of forged certificates and false information on form EC9 against his deputy, Sam Ode, before the INEC or at the Federal High Court. The tribunal suggested that the petitioner should have appealed the dismissal of the earlier suit regarding these issues at the Appeal Court instead of proceeding to the tribunal.
For Advert Inquiries & News/Article Publishing