There is palpable tension in Benue State as the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Markurdi, the state capital, would deliver its judgment on the petition challenging the election of Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Naija News reports that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Titus Uba, are challenging Alia’s victory in the 2023 governorship election.
Recall that Alia, a former Catholic priest, was declared the winner of the March 18th governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The APC governorship candidate polled 473,933 votes to defeat his closest opponent in the PDP, who scored 223,913 votes.
Not satisfied with the declaration of Alia as the winner by the INEC, the PDP and Uba approached the tribunal seeking to overturn the result of the election in their favour.
They asked the tribunal to nullify the election, claiming the candidates did not comply with the electoral law and purportedly submitted false documents to INEC.
However, a three-member panel led by Justice Ibrahim Karaye had earlier adjourned the matter for judgment after final addresses by counsels.
It was gathered on Friday in Makurdi that most supporters of Uba were upbeat and confident of winning the case, while many supporters of Gov Alia were optimistic that APC would have a favourable judgement.
Many members of the opposition PDP have arrived in the state capital hoping their party will win its case at the tribunal, while others are sceptical because of the reach and incumbent privileges of the ruling party in the state.
However, many APC stalwarts in the State believe their party will win the case at the tribunal as the evidence tendered by their opponent is weak.
The security agencies in the state have restricted vehicular traffic around the court where the judgement will be delivered.