July 25, 2024

Supreme Court rejects PDP’s plea and upholds Alia as Benue’s governor.

ABUJA—The election of Benue State Governor Hyacinth Alia has been upheld by the Supreme Court.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Titus Uba, filed an appeal to contest the results of the state’s March 18 election, but it was denied by a five-member panel of the Apex Court’s Justices on Monday.

After the appellants’ attorney, Mr. Sebastian Hon, SAN, withdrew from the case, which the court observed contained pre-election matters, the panel led by Justice Inyang Okoro dismissed the appeal.

Recall that Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was also upheld by the Court of Appeal in Abuja as the state’s legitimately elected governor.

The appellate court rejected Uba’s appeal as without merit in a unanimous ruling by a panel of three justices.

Justice Onyekachi Aja Otisi issued the lead judgment for the court, which stated that it could not see any justification for overturning the Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal’s decision, which on September 23 had affirmed Alia’s election victory.

It concluded that some of the factors the PDP and its candidate brought forth in the appeal contained elements of criminal activity in addition to pre-election concerns.

The appellate court stated that the appellants had brought up the forgery charge against Mr. Samuel Ode, the State’s deputy governor.

According to the ruling, the claim that Ode falsified documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to support his eligibility to run for office was illegal and should have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Furthermore, the appeal court emphasized that, as it was a pre-election matter, the appellants’ argument regarding a candidate’s non-qualification could only be made before the Federal High Court, not the election tribunal.



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