The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has affirmed the election of Hyacinth Alia as governor of Benue State.
The court therefore dismissed the appeal against the governor’s victory by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the March 18 governorship election, Titus Uba.
The PDP candidate had approached the appeal court in order to nullify the judgment of the tribunal, which upheld Alia’s victory in the election.
News About Nigeria recalls that, in the tribunal, Uba alleged that Alia and his deputy, Samuel Ode were not qualified to run for the election.
According to him, Alia’s deputy, Samuel Ode, presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission contrary to Section 182(1)(j) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
Uba also alleged that the governor’s name was submitted less than 180 days before the election date, and Ode was also not submitted to INEC after the party conducted a further re-run primary election.
However, a three-member panel of the tribunal, headed by Justice Ibrahim Karaye, dismissed Uba’s petition on the ground that it was a pre-election matter.
The court also held that the PDP candidate lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of Alia and his deputy because he is not a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The panel also explained that the petitioners’ case was also an abuse of court processes because the same case was filed by the petitioners before the Federal High Court Abuja Division, and its judgment was not challenged by the petitioners.
The appellate court, in its judgement on Monday, upheld the judgement of the tribunal by dismissing the appeal of the PDP candidate and affirming Alia as Governor.
The court also explained that the PDP candidate was not able to prove the allegations of forgery against the Benue State governor and his deputy.