Appeal court judgement : Alia calls for calm in Benue

Fr. Hyacinth Alia, 2023 Guber Contender in Benue

By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

The Benue State  governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rev Fr . Dr Hyacinth Iormem Alia has called on all his supporters and party faithfuls to remain calm and law abiding to put it clean what has become their own call – law and order.

Fr. Alia made the call on Monday, January 23, 2023 while reacting to the judgement delivered by the Appeal Court in Makurdi where it ordered the All Progressives Congress (APC) to conduct fresh primary election in eleven local Government areas of Benue state to nominate its gubernatorial candidate.

In a press statement  signed by the media Aide to the APC governorship candidate Rev Fr. Alia and made available to Nigerian NewsDirect, revealed that while delivering judgement on the appeal filed by Prof. Terhemba Shija, the court agreed with the assertion that there was no valid primary election held on the 27th of May, 2022 by the APC for the nomination of its governorship candidate.

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

Fr. Alia who said they have respected the judgement so far, appealed to the APC party faithfuls and his supporters to remain very calm, saying everything was still under their control. “I just want to be quite clear that we respect the judgement so far. I’m appealing to the party faithful and my supporters to remain very calm, everything is under our control”.

He said he was still on the ballot and that he would do further consultations with the leadership of his party to communicate his next line of action. “I still remain on the ballot, and I’m going to do further consultations with the leadership of the party and you will hear from me further”.

On his part, the lead counsel to APC, F.B. Mnyim Esq said the judgement delivered by the Appeal Court has opened two options for the APC. The first option is to comply with the order of the Appeal Court and conduct a rerun primary in the eleven local government areas within 14 days. The second option is to approach Supreme Court within 14 days.

He said the implication of the judgement on the party is that it has birthed two options for the party to choose one, and to his opinion, either of the options was in favour of the party.

Mnyim continued that by their own defence filed at the trial court, INEC report was fully attached to their affidavit that was transmitted to the Court of Appeal, adding that they would critically study the judgement of the Appeal Court page to ascertain whether the INEC report that was used by the Federal High Court was actually transmitted to the Appeal Court, after which they would advise the party accordingly.