The Benue State governorship election tribunal, on Saturday, affirmed Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as Governor of the State.
Recall that Alia was declared the winner of the March governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The Catholic Bishop at the time polled 473,933 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Titus Uba, candidate of the State’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 223,913 votes.
However PDP’s Uba filed a petition challenging Alia’s victory.
The Chairman of the three-man panel of justices, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, in his judgement, held that the tribunal had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition as the matters raised before the tribunal were pre-election issues as captured in section 285 of the Electoral Act.
According to Karaye, Uba ought to have prosecuted the forgery allegation against Sam Ode, Benue deputy governor, at the high court.
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Alia, in reaction to the judgment via Tersoo Kula, his Chief Press Secretary, said it is a victory for democracy and the rule of law.
The Governor was quoted as saying that his administration is committed to prioritising the welfare of the residents of Benue.
“He says the court has indicated once again that it is the last hope of the common man and that no might is powerful enough to thwart the supreme will of the people and claim power through the back door.
“Governor Alia rededicates himself to the service of the people and the strengthening of democratic values across the state.
“He enjoins all and sundry including members of the opposition to put their hands on deck and ensure that the state is moved to very heights of greatness away from the current mess of misery, poverty and maladministration,” the statement read.