George Kajo, Makurdi
A Federal High Court Makurdi division has dismissed the suit instituted by Prof. Terhemba Shija seeking the nullification of the primary election conducted by All Progressives Congress (APC), that produced Rev. Fr Hyacinth Alia as the governorship candidate in the 2023 general election in Benue State.
The court upheld the preliminary objections raised by APC and Fr. Alia against that of the Plaintiff, saying he lacked the locus standi to institute the suit, having admitted in his Originating summons that he, (Shija) never participated in the Primary election conducted by APC in Benue State.
The presiding Judge, Justice Hassan Diko held in his ruling that Prof Terhemba Shija complained that no primary election was conducted by APC anywhere in Benue state, as such, he lacked the locus standi to complain since he did not participate in the election he is complaining of as an aspirant.
The court held that APC conducted valid primaries in eleven Local Government areas that Prof. Shija is challenging.
While considering the report of the APC Benue State Appeal Panel authored by the erstwhile chairman of the panel which purported that the primary election was a “yahoo yahoo primaries”, Justice Dikko noted that, evidence available indicates very clearly that the signature of the secretary and other members of the Panel were procured and that the party held a valid primary election in the state.
Justice Dikko, consequently, dismissed the Suit on the ground that the plaintiff has failed to bring sufficient evidence to prove his assertions.
Reacting to the judgement, the State Secretary of the party, Paul Biam, said the party was so pleased with the decision of the court; saying it is extending a message to all that have lost their cases in court to sheath their swords and join hands to fight for victory next year.
“APC leadership in the state is ever willing to accept them back into its fold as members in the interest of all and to work together for the success of the party in the general elections in 2023”.
According to Mr Biam, the party will never abandon those that took them to court for whatever reason, describing them as loyal members in spite of their acts; urging them to come back for a round table discussion and continue the struggle for victory against the ruling PDP in the state.