Apeal Court Orders Benue APC Gubernatorial Primary Rerun

Apeal Court Orders Benue APC Gubernatorial Primary Rerun

The Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi, Benue State, on Monday, ordered the All Progressives Congress to conduct a fresh primary election in 11 local government areas of the state to determine its governorship candidate for the forthcoming general elections.

The appellate court justices who decided the case are Justice Mohammed Danjuma, Justice Abraham Biobelle and Justice Ibrahim Jauro.

Delivering the judgment on the appeal filed by one of the governorship aspirants, Prof Terhemba Shija, Justice Danjuma said that the court agreed with Shija that there was no valid primary election held on May 27 by the party for the nomination of its governorship candidate for which Fr. Hyacinth Alia was declared the winner.

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Justice Danjuma said, “I have seen that the APC did not conduct a valid primary election on May 27, 2022, reasons the appeal panel ordered a fresh election that was conducted on June 9, 2022, in some local governments.

“In the interest of justice, I cannot allow those voters in the remaining 11 local governments to be disenfranchised, therefore, APC should go back and conduct an election in 11 local governments within 14 days and INEC should recognise the winner after adding both earlier primary results.”

The local government areas where the court ordered a fresh primary election are Gboko, Gwer-East, Gwer-West, Guma, Katsina, Logo Makurdi, Otukpo, Ukum, Tarka and Vandeikya.

The local governments where the rerun was held on June 9, 2022, are Buruku, Kwande, Agatu, Konshisha, Ogbadibo, Ushongo, Oju Okpokwu, Ado, Ohimini Obi and Apa.

The court also delivered judgment on the case filed by another governorship aspirant, Senator Barnabas Gemade.

The court of appeal upheld the judgment of the Federal High Court which earlier dismissed the suit against Alia for being statute barred.

The appeal of the Peoples Democratic Party against the APC House of Assembly and House of Representatives candidates was also dismissed.

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The court held that PDP has no locus standi to meddle in the affairs of the APC or another political party.

In his reaction, Alia appealed to supporters to remain calm.

“We are law-abiding citizens. We respect the judgment of the court and we are appealing to our teeming supporters to remain calm. We are still going to be on the ballot. We are all in this for the greater of our state and God,” he said.

The state chairman of the APC, Austin Agada, also asked the party’s supporters to remain calm saying, the people had already spoken, adding that “we believe that the voice of the people is the voice of God.”

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