A Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi on Monday ordered a rerun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in 11 local government areas of Benue State.
The party had, on June 9, 2022, conducted a direct governorship primary in some local government areas of the state which was won by Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia.
But the court, in a judgement by Justice Mohammed Danjuma, ordered that the primary be held in the remaining 11 LGAs in the interest of justice within 14 days from the date of judgement.
The order followed an appeal brought by one of the governorship aspirants, Prof. Terhemba Sjija, challenging the lower court’s decision on his case against the APC governorship candidate, Reverend Alia.
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Justice Danjuma, in his ruling, agreed with Shija’s assertion that there was no valid primary election held on May 27, 2022, by APC for the nomination of its gubernatorial candidate, Fr. Alia who was later declared the winner.
He also agreed with APC on the rerun of June 9, 2022, which took place in 12 LGAs of the state, stating that the election was very valid and still stands.
“Yes, I have seen that APC did not conduct a valid primary election on the 27th of May 2022, reasons why the appeal panel ordered a fresh election that was conducted on the 9th of June 2022 in some local government areas.
“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 elections in 11 local governments within 14 days, and INEC should recognise the winner after adding both election results as the gubernatorial candidate of the party,” the court held.