Supreme Court affirms Governor Alia’s victory, reserves verdict on Ebonyi poll
The Supreme Court, on Monday, upheld the victory of Governor Hyacinth Alia as the authentic winner of the March 18 governorship election in Benue State.
The FCG reports that Alia, who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, secured victory in the election with 473,933 votes, defeating Titus Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party, who scored 223,913 votes.
Alia had earlier won the electoral lawsuit at both the Benue State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
Justice John Okoro, who led the five-member Supreme Court panel, said the case should not have been brought before the court.
He said, “This is not the kind of case that should come here.”
Also, Justice Emmanuel Agim said the PDP ought not to have appealed.
“I don’t know why this appeal is here. There is no post-election matter here, “ Agim said.
The PDP counsel, Sebastine Hon (SAN), thereafter, applied to withdraw the appeal.
All the respondents in the matter did not object and demanded no cost.
Ruling, Justice Okoro held: “This appeal having been withdrawn is hereby dismissed.”
Addressing journalists in Abuja after the judgment, Alia said the victory would ginger him to give his best to the state.
“I am very excited. It is 100 per cent justice delivered. The victory is for all the people of the state. God leads and this again demonstrates that justice is justice. We are pleased it came to this point. It going to ginger us some more to do great things for the state. It is high time everyone came on board with us for the progress and development of the state. It is a great win for all the great people of the state and we are very excited about the victory,” Alia said.
In its reaction, the Benue PDP said it accepted the verdict.
The Publicity Secretary of the opposition party, Bemgba Iortyom, said, “The PDP recognises the authority of the courts to interpret the laws made for the good government of Nigeria, and accepts the decision of the Supreme Court on the matter in good faith.”
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, on Monday, reserved judgment in the Ebonyi State governorship election.
The PDP and its candidate, Ifeanyi Odii, are challenging the election of Governor Francis Nwifuru of the All Progressives Congress.
The five-member panel led by Justice John Okoro reserved the judgment after the parties adopted their briefs of argument on Monday.
The FCG reports that Nwifuru polled 199, 131 votes to be declared the winner ahead of Odii, who had 80, 191 votes.
Odii had lost the election lawsuit at both the tribunal and the Court of Appeal