The Court of Appeal in Makurdi has ordered the All Progressives Congress, APC, to conduct a fresh primary election in 11 out of the 23 local government areas of Benue State for the nomination of its gubernatorial candidate.
The affected local governments are, Gboko, Gwer- East, Gwer-West, Guma, Katsina-Ala, Logo, Makurdi, Otukpo, Ukum, Tarka and Vandeikya.
The court also asked that APC conduct the primaries within 14 days and that INEC recognize the winner after adding election results from the 12 local government areas.
The development is coming barely 33 days before the 2023 general elections.The judgement followed an appeal filed by one of the aspirants on the platform of the APC, Professor Terhemba Shija, arguing that there was no valid primary election held on 27th May 2022 by APC for the nomination of its gubernatorial candidate to warrant Fr Alia emerging as the winner.
The court, after evaluating evidence submitted by Professor Shija, agreed with his submissions.
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 valid and still stands.
Meanwhile, the court dismissed Senator Barnabas Gemade’s appeal and upheld the judgement of the Federal High Court, which dismissed his suit against Fr Alia for being statute-barred.