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Again, court dismisses Barnabas Gemade’s suit against Alia

From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi

The Federal High Court, sitting in Makurdi, has dismissed the suit filed by Engr. Barnabas Gemade against the All Progressives Congress, (APC), challenging the gubernatorial primary elections that produced Rev. Fr Hyacinth Alia as the 2023 candidate of the party in Benue state.

Delivering judgement on the Preliminary Objections by counsels to Alia and APC, S. I Ameh, SAN, and Fidels Mnyim, respectively, Justice Abdul Dogo declared that the Plaintiff filed his case out of time thereby denying the court jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Gemade in a suit no. FHC/MKD/CS/55/22 had asked amongst other prayers that INEC should be barred from recognizing the candidature of Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia on the grounds that the elections were not conducted in accordance with the laid down laws for the conduct of such primaries.

He said that evidence available before the court have shown clearly that the petitioner was in breach of section 285 (9) of the EA 2022 as amended by filing his case out of the mandatory 14 days required by law for pre-election matters.

On the issue of locus standi, the court agreed with the plantiff declaring that Gemade has shown enough reasons why his suit should be heard.

Justice Abdul Dogo said for the purpose of appeal, he decided to proceed to examine the claims by the Plaintiff in his substantive suit and concluded that the documents and evidence relied upon by Gemade were worthless and hear say evidence.

The judge further held that Gemade has failed in proving his case as it is settled position that he who alleges must prove. The judge said the substantive suit also lacks in merit.

The suit was dismissed, all the reliefs sort by Gemade refused and parties were asked to bear their cost.

Reacting to the court victory, Alia said there was no victor, no vanquish.

He said the victory was for him, his aggrieved brothers who took him to court, the APC and the entire Benue masses.

Speaking through the Head of Communications of his campaign Organization, Kula Tersoo, the APC gubernatorial candidate said his arms are wide open and hands stretched to embrace and welcome his elder brother, Chief Gemade and other former aspirants to join him for campaigns in order to takeover the state and liberate the people from the sorry state they have currently found themselves.

“We are together and it is my sincere appeal that they all accept my olive branch and join me to campaign and take over the state”, he said.

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