The Benue State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, on Monday, reserved judgment on the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party to challenge the victory of Governor Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressives Congress in the March 18 governorship election in the state.
Justice Ibrahim Karage, chairman of the three-man tribunal, affirms the court would communicate the judgment date to the parties.
Both the PDP and the APC adopted their written addresses and canvassed final arguments at the Monday proceedings.
The PDP and its governorship candidate, Titus Uba, are praying to the tribunal to nullify the declaration of Alia and his deputy, Samuel Ode, as the winner of the poll.
Counsel for the PDP, Efut Okon (SAN), argued that the tribunal was bound to nullify Alia’s election on the grounds that the name of his running mate was not properly submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“Only the name of the second respondent (Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia) was submitted and the name of the third respondent(Samuel Ode) was not submitted which makes the joint ticket defective. It also affected the sponsorship,” Okon said.
But Ode’s lawyer, Mike Osuman (SAN), described the PDP’s petition as a blatant abuse of court processes and urged the tribunal to dismiss it with considerable cost against the petitioners.
Consequently, Alia’s lawyer, S.I. Ameh (SAN), counsel for the APC, Mathew Burkaa (SAN), and counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission, Ishiaku Dikko (SAN), asked the tribunal to dismiss the PDP petition for lacking in merit.
The chairman of the tribunal, Justice Karage, said the submissions of all the parties would guide the court to take its decision.