The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State and its candidate in the 2023 governorship election, Engr Titus Uba, have appealed the judgement of the election petition tribunal which upheld the election of Governor Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Our correspondent reports that the tribunal, headed by Justice Ibrahim Mohammed Karaye, on September 24, 2023, dismissed the petition by PDP and Engr Uba which challenged the return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Gov Alia as the winner of the 2023 gubernatorial election.
Justice Karaye, who delivered the judgment, said that the issues raised by the petitioners were pre-election and ought to have been entertained by the Federal High Court and not the tribunal.
A statement signed by PDP’s State Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iotyom, on Wednesday, indicated that the PDP through its legal team had approached the Court of Appeal challenging the judgment on 16 grounds, notable among which are the alleged tribunal’s error in law on the issue of its jurisdiction to entertain both petitions.
The statement reads in part: “Our great party and her candidate fault the decision of the Tribunal which held, to the effect, that the ground of the petition was that of pre-election, despite clear and unambiguous statutory provisions and pronouncements of higher courts of record on the matter to the contrary.
“The party is confident that the petition was established before the Tribunal as the documentary depositions made by Governor Alia’s running mate, Samuel Ode were forged and that he was not a candidate to the election on the account that his name was not submitted to INEC alongside that of Alia for the election as expressly required by law.
“PDP and Engr Uba reiterate faith in the judiciary and remain optimistic that the appellate court will set aside the judgment of the tribunal and deliver substantive justice to their petition, in line with the hopes of the people that the judiciary will always be their last hope.”
The party assured that by sustaining the challenge of the outcome of the 2023 governorship election in Benue State, it was deepening the culture of democracy and sanitising the process of leadership recruitment which alone would ensure that its legacy of development in the state was kept alive and improved upon by the right choice of leaders.