[Breaking] APC gubernatorial contest: Again, Alia wins in Benue

The long drawn legal battle on the All Progressives Congress (APC) Gubernatorial ticket of Benue State was on Thursday laid to rest with the dismissal of the suit by the Supreme Court.

The appeal filed by Professor Terhemba Shija against the May 27, 2022 primary election that produced Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia was dismissed on ground of being statute barred by law.

Justice John Inyang Okoro who led a 5-man panel of Justices of the Apex Court in a brief ruling dismissed the appeal following its withdrawal by the Appellant.

Before the withdrawal, a hot argument had ensued between the Professor Shija’s counsel Mr Kenneth Ikonne and that of the APC, Mr Matthew Burkaa on when the cause of action arose.

While Professor Shija’s counsel insisted that the cause of action arose on May 28, 2022, the APC counsel, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN stood his ground that the cause of action emanated on May 26.

The APC drew the attention of the Court to a letter of Professor Shija in which he complained against an event of May 26 and 27 and dissociated himself from it.

Although, the Professor insisted that the cause of action arose on May 28, when the results of the primary election was announced, the content of his letter was used against him that he became aware of the cause of action on May 26 and ought to have instituted the suit within 14 days stipulated by section 285 of 1999 Constitution.

In the end, it was agreed that the suit was filed outside 14 days allowed by law and was subsequently dismissed by a unanimous decision of the Justices.