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Tribunal affirms Alia as Benue governor

Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia

The Benue State Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi has upheld the election of Governor Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The tribunal dismissed the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Titus Uba, challenging the election held on March 18. The tribunal premised its ruling on a lack of jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Chairman of the three-man panel of judges, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, held that the tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition because the matters raised before it are pre-election issues as captured in section 285 of the Electoral Act.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Reverend Alia the winner of the poll with 473,933 votes to the 223,913 scored by his closest rival, Mr Uba.

Writing by Hadiza Abdulrahman; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare and Tony Okerafor