The Federal High Court, Abuja has struck out a suit by an aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue, Mr Michael Aondoakaa, challenging the emergence of Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia as the party’s governorship candidate for the 2023 governorship election.
Delivering judgment on Thursday, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, held that although the suit was a pre-election matter, Aondoakaa filed it out of time.
“The grouse of the plaintiff is that the Benue APC primary election was not conducted in compliance with the law.
The judge held that the law was trite in that where the cause of action was commenced on time, the litigant will have his right protected.
He said that since the primary election took place on May 26, filing the suit on June 10 made the suit status barred.
He held that the suit was incompetent and the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the suit and struck out the suit.
The judge also said that having found that the suit was filed out of time, there was no basis for delving into the substantial matter.
Aondoakaa, a former Attorney-General of the Federation had dragged the APC, Fr. Alia, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court on the grounds that the APC conducted its governorship primary election in Benue in violation of the law
He asked the court to declare among other reliefs that Alia was not fit to contest the primary election because he was not a member of the APC.
Aondoakaa also asked the court to declare that Fr. Alia could not validly contest and be declared as the winner of the APC primary election being an ordained priest of the Catholic Church and fully engaged as a minister in the employment and or service of the Catholic Church.
He also prayed the court to declare that he was not given an equal opportunity to participate in the said Benue APC governorship primary election.
He further asked the court to make an order directing fresh conduct of Benue APC governorship primaries.
The plaintiff, in addition, asked for a perpetual injunction restraining Fr. Alia from holding or carrying on or parading himself as the gubernatorial candidate of the APC for the March 11, 2023, gubernatorial election in Benue.
He asked for damages in the sum of N150 million.