Suit contesting the Benue APC guber primary election is dismissed by the Makurdi Court.
A Makurdi Federal High Court presided over by Justice Hassan Dikko has dismissed the suit filed by Prof. Terhemba Shija of the All Progressives Congress, APC challenging the emerges Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia as the governorship candidate of the party, for lacking in merit.
On the grounds that the procedure did not adhere to the requirements set forth in the Electoral Act and the APC’s rules governing the conduct of the party’s primaries, Prof. Shija had petitioned the courts to have the primary election of his party that resulted in Fr. Alia declared invalid.
Jutsice Dikko, who rendered a decision in the case on Thursday and decided all other issues in the plaintiff’s favor, questioned the plaintiff’s authority to contest the results of a process he maintained did not hold.
He held that “the plaintiff cannot claim that an election did not hold and at the same time ask that the result be nullified.”
Justice Dikko who further held that the plaintiff failed to prove his case said, “after a critical review of all the exhibits tendered before the court, it is my firm view that the party conducted a valid gubernatorial primary election in 11 Local Government Areas, LGAs, on the 26, 27 and 28 of May 2022 and equally conducted a valid rerun in 11 LGAs on June 9, 2022.
“Haven held that there was valid primary election held by the APC, the second defendant therefore emerged with the highest number of votes and should be rightfully declared winner of the election. This suit therefore lacks merit and is therefore dismissed.”
Mr. Joseph Agbo, the plaintiff’s attorney, acknowledged that all of the issues raised by his client were resolved in the plaintiff’s favor, with the exception of the judge’s completely incorrect interpretation of the issue of a valid primary election.
“Our position is that a valid primary election was not conducted, we did not say the primary election did not hold. That was where the Judge didn’t get right. We will study the judgement and advise our client on the next line of action.”
Fr. Alia’s attorney, Mr. Vangerbee Uhamber, applauded the decision on behalf of his client and stated that he was pleased with the case’s outcome.
The Secretary of the Party, Paul Biam, appealed to all resentful party members to withdraw their court cases and return for the benefit of the party. The Director General of the Alia campaign organization, Pastor Frederick Ikyaan, also commended the judiciary for handling the matter justly.
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