The Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja, on Monday affirmed the election of Hyacinth Alia as governor of Benue State.
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the March 18 governorship election, Titus Uba had approached the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal which upheld Alia’s election.
At the tribunal, Uba among other things alleged that Alia’s deputy, Samuel Ode, presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission contrary to Section 182(1)(j) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
He also claimed that Alia’s name was submitted less than 180 days before the election date, and Ode was also not submitted to INEC after the party conducted a further re-run primary election.
A three-member panel of the tribunal, headed by Justice Ibrahim Karaye, dismissed the petition on the ground that it was a pre-election matter and was statute-barred.
Ruling on the appeal on Monday, the appeal court’s three-member panel led by Justice Onyekachi Aja Otisi held that the Uba failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the allegations of forgery against Ode.