Appeal Court Confirms Hyacinth Alia as Benue Governor
By Bliss Okperan
The election of Mr Hyacinth Alia as the Governor of Benue State has been affirmed by a Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja.
The appellate court upheld the victory of Mr Alia, a Catholic cleric, in a judgement delivered on Monday by a three-member panel led by Justice Onyekachi Aja Otisi.
The judge held that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18 governorship election, Mr Titus Uba, could not prove beyond reasonable doubt the allegations of forgery against the Governor’s deputy, Mr Samuel Ode.
Mr Uba had approached the appeal court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal which upheld Mr Alia’s election on the ground that Mr Ode presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission contrary to Section 182(1)(j) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
He also claimed that Mr Alia’s name was submitted less than 180 days before the election date.
But the appellate court ruled that, “The appellant failed to prove the allegation of forgery beyond reasonable doubt. No other form of EC9 was presented. To prove forgery, two documents must be produced; the original and the forged document. The appellant failed to prove an element of forgery by not making available the documents.”