On Monday, the Court of Appeal in Abuja upheld the election of Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia from the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the validly elected governor of Benue State. The unanimous decision was reached by a three-member panel of justices, dismissing an appeal filed by Mr. Titus Uba, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), challenging the outcome of the gubernatorial election held on March 18.
The court affirmed the judgment of the Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which validated Alia’s election victory on September 23. The Court of Appeal found no merit in the grounds raised by the PDP candidate, stating that some issues not only pertained to pre-election matters but also involved elements of criminality.
The appellate court highlighted that the appellants (Uba and the PDP) had raised allegations of forgery against the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Samuel Ode. Recognizing that such allegations were of a criminal nature, the court emphasized that they needed to be proven beyond reasonable doubt.
In its ruling, the Court of Appeal concluded that the appellants failed to meet the burden of proof required by the law. Consequently, all issues raised in the appeal were resolved against the appellants.