The Court of Appeal in Abuja has upheld Hyacinth Alia’s election as Benue State Governor, dismissing the appeal lodged by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Titus Uba, from the previous gubernatorial election.
Titus Uba, the PDP candidate in the March 18 governorship election, had contested the tribunal’s judgment, which upheld Alia’s victory. Uba’s claims included allegations that Alia’s deputy, Samuel Ode, submitted a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission, a violation of Section 182(1)(j) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
Uba further asserted that Alia’s candidacy was submitted less than 180 days before the election date, and Ode was not properly submitted to INEC after the party’s subsequent rerun primary election.
Alia, who contested on the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform, emerged victorious in the March 18 gubernatorial election.
The three-member tribunal, headed by Justice Ibrahim Karaye, dismissed the petition, considering it a pre-election issue beyond the statute of limitations.
In its ruling on Monday, the three-member Appeal Court panel, led by Justice Onyekachi Aja Otisi, emphasized that Uba failed to conclusively substantiate the forgery allegations against Ode.