Conduct Fresh Primary, Appeal Court Orders Benue APC.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi, Benue State, on Monday, ordered the All Progressive Congress to conduct a fresh primary in 11 local government areas of the state to determine the nomination of its governorship candidate for the forthcoming general election.

The judges who sat during the judgment are: Mohammed Danjuma, Justice Abraham Biobelle and Justice Ibrahim Jauro.

Reading the judgment in the appeal filed by one of the governorship aspirants, Professor Terhemba Shija, Justice Danjuma who read the judgment said the court agreed with Prof. Shija in his assertion that there was no valid primary held on May 27, 2022, by the APC for the nomination of its governorship candidate in which Alia was declared the winner.

Justice Danjuma said after evaluating evidence submitted by Professor Terhemba Shija which among others was the appeal panel report that sat after the primary to hear the issues of concern from aspirants, it made recommendations that the primary election was not valid.

However, the court agreed with the APC on the rerun of June 9, 2022 which took place in 12 LGAs of the state, saying it was very valid and still stands.

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

“In the interest of justice, I can not allow those voters in the remaining 11 local government areas to be disenfranchised, therefore, the APC should go back and conduct an election in eleven local government areas within 14 days and the Independent National Electoral Commission should recognise the winner after adding both earlier primary results,” the ruling read.

The local government areas where the court ordered fresh primary are; Gboko, Gwer- East, Gwer-West, Guma, Katsina, Logo Makurdi, Otukpo, Ukum,Tarka and Vandeikya.

The LGAs where the rerun was held are, Buruku, Kwande, Agatu, Konshisha, Ogbadibo, Ushongo, Oju Okpokwu, Ado, Ohimini Obi and Apa local Government.

In his reaction, the APC governorship candidate, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, appealed to supporters to remain calm adding that he was respecting the judgment of the court.

“We are law-abiding citizens and respect the judgment of the court. We appeal to our teeming supporters to remain calm, we are still going to be on the ballot. We are all in this for the greatness of our state and God.

Also reacting the state chairman of the party, Austin Agada, urged the supporters to remain calm, saying the people had already spoken, “we believe that the voice of people is the voice of God.”