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2023 Election: Setback for APC as court nullifies guber primary, sack Candidate in Benue

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2023 Election: Setback for APC as court nullifies guber primary, sack Candidate in Benue

By Odunayo Odeja

In less than six weeks before the gubernatorial elections, the
Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi has ordered the All Progressives Congress (APC) to conduct a fresh primary in eleven out of the 23 of Benue State.

The court gave the party 14 days for the nomination of its gubernatorial candidate ahead of the 2023 general election.

The appeal was filed by one of the gubernatorial candidates Prof. Terhemba Shija.

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Shija said there was no valid primary election held on 27th May 2022 by the APC for the nomination of its gubernatorial candidate which Fr. Alia was declared the winner.

Delivering judgement, the presiding judge, justice Gabriel Abraham Georgewill agreed with the appeal filed by Prof. Terhemba Shija

The court said, “so after evaluating evidence submitted by Shija which among many is the Appeal panel report that sat after the primaries to hear issues of concern from the aspirants in Makurdi and made recommendations that the primary election was not valid.”

However, the court agreed with APC on the rerun of 9th June 2022 which took part in 12 local governments of the states, saying it was very valid and still stands.

“Yes, I have seen that APC did not conduct a valid primary election on 27th May 2022 reasons why the appeal panel ordered a fresh election that was conducted on 9th June 2022 in some local governments.

“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 eleven local governments within 14 days and INEC should recognise the winner after adding both elections results as the gubernatorial candidate of the party,”

The local government where the court ordered the conduct of the fresh primary election, includes Gboko, Gwer- East, Gwer-west Guma, Katsina-Ala, Logo, Makurdi, Otukpo, Ukum, Tarka and Vandeikya.

The councils that rerun was held on the 9th of June 2022 are, Buruku, Kwande, Agatu, Konshisha, Ogbadibo, Ushongo, Oju Okpokwu, Ado, Ohimini Obi and Apa local government.

The court ordered that the results of the 9th June 2022 and the one to be conducted fresh should be added and the winner with the highest number of votes should be declared the winner.

Meanwhile, the court had earlier in its judgment dismissed Shija’s interlocutory appeal against Fr. Alia.

The appeal was against the ruling of the federal high court which refused the application of Prof Shija to bring in more facts and introduce more Fresh issues into his case.

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