The Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate for governor, Titus Uba, filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal in Abuja, contesting Hyacinth Alia’s election as the chosen governor of Benue State. The appeal was denied.
In a unanimous ruling on Monday, the Appellate Court addressed each of the three issues raised in opposition to Uba and PDP for different reasons.
The lead judgment’s author, Justice Onyekachi Aja Otisi, rejected Uba’s claims that Deputy Governor Samuel Ode was not qualified.
According to the Court of Appeal, among other things, non-qualifications are pre-election issues that can only be contested in a Federal High Court rather than, as Uba did, at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
Even at that, Justice Otisi said a suit to challenge non-qualifications can only be instituted within 14 days of the occurrence of the subject matter.
The Court also dealt with the allegations by Uba that the name of the Governor, Hyacinth Alia was not submitted by the All Progressives Congress APC to the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC within 180 days before the election of March 18.
The Court held that the allegations could survive because the primary election that produced Alia was ordered by a High Court and was done within the period ordered by the court.
In the final analysis, Justice Otisi held that the appeal of Uba against the judgment of Benue State Election Petition Tribunal delivered on September 23 lacked merit and was dismissed.
The Court subsequently upheld the judgment of the Tribunal and rejected the plea of Uba to void it and set it aside.