THE Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has declared Governor Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressive Congress (APC) the winner of the state gubernatorial election held in March 2023.
The tribunal, sitting in Makurdi, dismissed the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Titus Uba, on Saturday, September 23.
Nigeria’s election umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Alia the winner of the governorship election held on March 18, having polled 473,933 votes to defeat Uba who garnered 223,913 votes.
Uba went on to challenge Alia’s victory at the tribunal.
In April, the tribunal confirmed 19 petitions by the candidates of various political parties who participated in the poll.
However, the chairman of the three-man panel of justices, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, said that the tribunal had no jurisdiction to entertain the petitions as the matters raised before the tribunal were pre-election issues as captured in section 285 of the Electoral Act.
Speaking on Uba’s case, the tribunal said the PDP candidate ought to have pursued his case of non-qualification, the nomination of Alia by the APC and the allegation of a forged certificate and false information on form EC9 against his deputy, Sam Ode, before INEC.
Alia’s victory comes days after the tribunal had upheld the election of the Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Danladi Lami.
The ICIR had also reported the affirmation of Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang, Zamfara State Governor Dauda Lawal, and the sack of Kano State Governor Abba Yusuf, who is to be replaced by APC candidate Nasir Gawuna.