The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has affirmed that Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was validly elected as governor of Benue State.
The court in its ruling delivered on Monday, by a three-member panel of justices, dismissed an appeal filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic (PDP), Mr. Titus Uba, as lacking in merit.
Mr Uba had earlier filed a petition at the Benue Electoral Petition Tribunal challenging the outcome of the gubernatorial election held in the state on March 18 in which Alia emerged a the winner.
The tribunal had on 23 September ruled that Alia was duly elected as governor.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Uba approached the Appeal Court to set aside judgment.
The appellate court held that it found no reason to set aside the judgment of the tribunal.
The court held that some of the raised in the appeal by the PDP candidate, not only bordered on pre-election issues but also had elements of crime.
The court further stated that one of the allegations which is forgery against the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Samuel Ode, ought to be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
According to the court, the appellants were not able to discharge the legal burden of proof. As a result, it resolves issues brought forth in the appeal against the appellants.
According to the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Alia, a Catholic priest, polled 473,933 votes to defeat his closest rival, Uba,who scored 223,913 votes.