The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, convened in Makurdi on Saturday, September 22, has affirmed the victory of Governor Hyacinth Alia from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a judgment pronounced today, the tribunal dismissed the petition brought forward by the Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Titus Uba, contesting the election that took place on March 18, 2023, on the grounds of lacking jurisdiction.
Justice Ibrahim Karaye, the Chairman of the three-man panel of justices, declared that the tribunal did not possess the jurisdiction to address the matters raised in the petition, as they pertain to pre-election issues outlined in section 285 of the Electoral Act.
Furthermore, the tribunal emphasized that the petitioner should have pursued allegations concerning Governor Alia’s qualification, APC’s nomination, and claims of a forged certificate and false information on form EC9 against his deputy, Sam Ode, through the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This matter had previously been dismissed by the Federal High Court, and it should have been taken to the Court of Appeal, not the tribunal.
Following the March 18 election, INEC had declared Governor Alia as the winner, securing 473,933 votes, surpassing his closest rival, Uba, who garnered 223,913 votes.