The Benue State Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi has dismissed the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Titus Uba against the victory of Governor Hyacinth Alia in the March 18, 2023 election, News About Nigeria reports.
The tribunal therefore upheld the election of Alia of the All Progressives Congress, APC, noting that petitions against him were incompetent and lacked merit.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Alia the winner of the poll with 473,933 votes ahead of his closest rival Uba, who scored 223,913.
The candidate of the PDP who was not satisfied with the election’s outcome, approached the court seeking to nullify Alia’s election.
In its judgement, the three-man tribunal judges led by Justice Ibrahim Karaye, held that the tribunal had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition as the matter raised before the tribunal are pre-election issues as captured in section 285 of the Electoral Act.
The panel also noted that their decision was based on the belief that the petitioner should have pursued the case concerning Governor Alia’s qualification, nomination by the APC, and allegations of forged certificates and false information on form EC9 against his deputy, Sam Ode, before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In their ruling, the three-man panel also stated that the case should have been done beyond the Federal High Court, which had already dismissed the petitioner’s previous suit and taken it to the Court of Appeal, rather than bringing it to the tribunal for judgement.