The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi has upheld the victory of Governor Hyacinth Alia in the gubernatorial election in the state.
The tribunal dismissed the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Titus Uba, challenging the election of Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18 gubernatorial election in Benue State.
The tribunal, on Saturday, September 23, 2023, dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
The chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, held that the tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition, declaring that the matter raised before the tribunal are pre-election issues as captured in section 285 of the Electoral Act.
Justice Karaye said the petitioner ought to have pursued its case of non-qualification and the nomination of Governor Alia by the APC and the allegation of a forged certificate and false information on form EC9 against his deputy, Sam Ode, before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) beyond the Federal High Court which dismissed the earlier suit filed by the petitioner to the Court of Appeal and not the tribunal.
According to the results declared by INEC after the election in March, Alia, a Catholic priest, polled 473,933 votes ahead of his closest rival, Uba, who garnered 223,913 votes.
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