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Benue APC guber primary election palaver: Court to hear Sen. Gemade’s suit Sept 13

By Sunday Ogli, Makurdi

Makurdi Federal High Court presided over by Justice Abdul Dogo has fixed September 13, 2022, for hearing in the suit filed by Senator Barnabas Gemade seeking the nullification of the Benue state All Progressives Congress, APC, gubernatorial primary election, which produced Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia as candidate.

When the case came up Thursday, counsel to Senator Gemade, Martins Ozueh, informed the court that the matter was for hearing but the counsel to Fr. Alia, Mike Agber had two days earlier “filed and served me a notice of preliminary objection and counter affidavit. But my colleague is filing my response to the objection and counter affidavit at the registry of the Court.”

Ozueh urged the court to prevail on the defendants to file all their processes on time so that by the next adjournment, the substantive suit could be heard.

Attempt by counsel to INEC to move his application for extension of time to file his memorandum of appearance and counter affidavit was objected by Sen. Gemade’s counsel who said that he was not served.

Sen. Gemade in the suit is seeking a declaration of the court that the purported primary elections by the APC held on May 27 and June 9, which produced Fr. Alia as flag bearer of the party were not done in compliance with section 77 and 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as the INEC guidelines.

The plaintiff also prayed for the court’s declaration that the said primary election and return of Fr. Alia by APC were invalid, null and void and of no effect and prayed the court to set it aside and order for a fresh election in compliance with the relevant laws.

After listening to all the counsels, Justice Dogo adjourned the matter to September 7, 2022 for hearing of the substantive suit.

Still in the same court, Justice Dogo also ordered that court processes be served on Fr. Alia through substituted services in the suit instituted by Prof. Terhemba Shija, seeking the nullification of the APC gubernatorial primaries in Benue State.

The Judge issued the order after counsel to Prof. Shija, Mr. Kenneth Ikonne brought a motion for substituted service saying that all efforts by the bailiff of the court to serve court processes on Fr. Alia proved abortive.

The Court ordered that the court processes be served on him at his residence in Makurdi and adjourned hearing to September 13, 2022.

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