A civil society group, political justice and Fairplay has written to the Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to publish the name of Rev. Fr. Hycenth Iormem Alia and APC for 2023 governorship election in Benue State.
They stated that the date of the judgement by the Appeal Court Makurdi Branch between Prof. Terhemba Shija 1. All Progressives Congress (APC) 2. Rev. Fr. Hycenth Iormem Alia 3. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) delivered on the 23rd of January 2023, the Appeal Court had Powers to either Nullify or Upheld the Federal High Court judgement but does not have powers to order for a rerun of the primary election because 180 constitutional days for a candidate to stay before general elections has catch up with the case as it is in section 29 subsection 1 of the electoral act 2022 as amended. For this reason Inec lack powers by law to open portal to add any candidate of a political party as it is in contravention of section 29 subsection 1 of the 2022 electoral act as amended.
In a statement signed by Nura Garba and Musa Ammani stated that unless a candidate of a political party is dead that will warrant such a change. The supreme court ruling between Hycenth Alia, Prof Terhemba Shija, APC and Inec delivered on the 16th of February 2023 by Justice John Inyang Okoro justice of the supreme court, the two cross appeals of Prof Terhemba Shija and Rev. Hycenth Alia were dismissed because counsel to Prof. Shija withdrew the case. Therefore, the supreme court did not make any judgement. Therefore by law the Appeal Court judgement stands. APC in Benue State with her governorship candidate can not appear on the ballot of 2023 general elections.
Also the position of the supreme court judgement delivered on Wednesday 1st February 2023 in an Appeal No. SC/CV/1564/2022 between Chief David Kente Vs Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, APC and Inec (2023) LPELR-59743 (SC), Justice Kudirat Motonmori Olatunko Kekere-Ekun stated clearly that no Court has the power to order for a rerun within 14days because of the 180 days time constraint before general elections. The judgement also apply for Benue APC rerun primaries because 180 constitutional days has catch up with the process. For this independent National Electoral Commission must obey section 29 subsection 1 of the 2022 electoral act as amended.
Our Letter to the Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Abuja -FCT.
Rule Order of the supreme court on 16th February, 2023 delivered by Justice John Inyang Okoro, Justice of the supreme court on the cross appeals of Prof Terhemba Shija and Rev Hycenth Alia, APC and INEC.
Appeal Court judgement in Makurdi Division of 23rd January, 2023 nullifying APC primaries of 28th May, 2022 and the candidature of Rev Fr. Hycenth Iormem Alia in the case between Prof Terhemba Shija Vs 1. Reverend Fr Hycenth Iormem Alia 2. All Progressives Congress (APC) and independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC)