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Benue APC guber crisis: Court strikes out Michael Aondoakaa’s suit against Hyacinth Alia

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A lawsuit filed by former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, challenging the selection of Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the 2023 election as governor of Benue State has been dismissed by Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Justice Mohammed ruled on Thursday that even if the lawsuit involved a pre-election concern, the plaintiff (Aondoakaa) submitted it late.

The plaintiff complains that the primaries for the APC in Benue were not held in accordance with the law and party norms.

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The APC primary was on May 26, and the legislation required the plaintiff to file suit within 14 days.

The court ruled that the lawsuit was time-barred because it was filed on June 10, and the primary election had already taken place on May 26.

The court held that it was an elementary principle that a litigant’s rights would be upheld if his cause of action was filed within the appropriate time frame.

For a pre-election matter like the one at hand, the deadline is June 10, 2022; however, it has been more than 14 days since May 26, 2022.

A judge ruled that a lawsuit couldn’t proceed because “the court lacks the authority to entertain the action” and that it should be dismissed.

Since Justice Mohammed has already determined that the lawsuit was filed too late, he sees no point in proceeding to the merits.

You may recall that Aondoakaa filed a lawsuit against the All Progressives Congress (APC), Reverend Fr. Alia, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) because the party held its governorship primary election in Benue in violation of the Electoral Act, the constitution, and the guidelines set forth by the APC.

In light of this, he asked the court for a number of different things, including a ruling that Alia was ineligible to run in the primary election since he was not a member of the APC.

“A declaration that the 2nd defendant (Fr. Alia) is not qualified to vote, contest and/or be declared as the winner of the 1st defendant’s (APC) Benue gubernatorial primary election, he not been a member of the party and his name has not been contained in the list of the party’s membership register submitted to INEC.

“A declaration that according to the provisions of the Electoral Act and the constitution of the APC, the party has failed or neglected or refused to conduct a primary election for the emergence of its gubernatorial candidate in Benue for the 2023 governorship elections.”

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