Nigeria’s highest legal arbiter, the Supreme Court of Nigeria has affirmed the election of Fr. Hyacinth Alia as Governor of Benue state.
The apex court decision is sequel to the withdrawal of an appeal challenging Alia’s election by Sebastine Hon, counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Titus Uba.
Uba had challenged the election of Fr. Alia in the March 18, 2023 governorship election in the state.
But in a ruling on Monday, the apex court also dismissed an appeal filed by Titus Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the cleric turned politician who belongs to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal had ruled that Alia was duly elected, with the Appeal Court holding that Uba failed to prove allegations of forgery against the Deputy Governor, Sam Ode beyond a reasonable doubt.
However, the Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal in Abuja, affirmed Alia’s election as Benue governor, following his declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the March 18 governorship election.
The Court of Appeal had said it lacked the jurisdiction to hear the petition because it was a pre-election matter.
The court held that Uba should have prosecuted the forgery allegation against the deputy governor of Benue State, Sam Ode, at the High Court.
It also held that Uba failed to prove allegations of forgery against Ode beyond a reasonable doubt.