Reverend Father Hyacinth Ioryemen Alia has been declared winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in Benue State held between January 1 and 2 in Makurdi, the state capital.

Chairman of the rerun committee, Sen. Basheer Lado, at a media briefing in Makurdi announced that Fr. Alia polled 219,002, while the runner-up, Matthias Byuan, polled 4,797.

The Court of Appeal had ordered a rerun of the party governorship primaries in 11 out of 23 local government areas of the state after a long judicial battle over the governorship ticket.

Ruling on the appeal filed by one of the governorship aspirants, Prof Terhemba Shija, Justice Danjuma said the court agreed with Shija that there was no valid primary election held on May 27 by the party for the nomination of its governorship candidate for which Fr. Hyacinth Alia was declared the winner.

“I have seen that the APC did not conduct a valid primary election on May 27, 2022, reasons the appeal panel ordered a fresh election that was conducted on June 9, 2022, in some local governments,” Justice Danjuma said while ordering the rerun.

Other contestants in the rerun include Joseph Yisa (136), Sam Ode (255), Mike Aõndoakaa (606), Barnabas Gemade (450), Iorwase Hembe (688), Terwase Orbunde (2), Steven Lawani (120), and Terhemba Shija (219).

Briefing reporters shortly after the announcement of the results on Friday, Mr C. J. Chinwuba, on behalf of chairman of the appeal panel, said the aggrieved aspirants and their supporters were satisfied with the conduct of the rerun. He said the appeal panel will return to Abuja later in the day to write their report indicating that the rerun was hitch-free, adding that the conduct of the rerun was in line with the law.