The Conference of Benue Journalists (CBJ) has congratulated Governor Hyacinth Alia, on his affirmation by the Supreme Court as the duly elected governor of Benue in the March 2023 governorship election.
In a statement signed by its president, Emmanuel Anule, the Benue journalists said the verdict had ended the long legal battle between the two main political parties on Tuesday in Abuja.
The group, however, said the verdict had placed irrevocable legitimacy on Mr Alia’s administration to begin to deliver good governance to the Benue people.
“It is important for the governor to see this final verdict as the handiwork of God and a reflection of the will of the people for positive and impactful change in Benue,“ he said.
He implored the governor to extend the olive branch to his opponents and all Benue sons and daughters, irrespective of their political affiliations, for inclusive governance.
“Now that politics is over, it is time to work; the distraction should also be over. Our people desire peace, quality infrastructure and impact in all sectors of the economy.
“The administration requires our support to maintain the peace that will attract investors into the state,’’ Mr Anule said.
A three-member panel of the Court of Appeal had, in November 2023, affirmed Alia’s election after dismissing the appeal filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Titus Uba of the PDP, who was Mr Alia’s closest challenger, had appealed the judgment of the Benue governorship election petition tribunal.
Mr Alia, a Catholic priest, won the election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The tribunal had held that it lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the pre-election issues raised by Mr Uba. Dissatisfied with the decision, the PDP candidate appealed, seeking to overturn Mr Alia’s victory.
However, in a unanimous decision, the appellate court resolved all the issues in favour of the governor, including the alleged non-qualification of Mr Alia and his then-running mate, Sam Ode.
The Supreme Court judgment, delivered on January 8, ended the legal battle between the APC and the PDP in Benue.
Source: Peoples Gazette
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