The long drawn legal battle on the All Progressives Congress, APC, gubernatorial ticket of Benue State was on Thursday laid to rest with dismissal of the suit by the Supreme Court.
The appeal filed by Professor Terhemba Shija against the May 27, 2022 primary election that produced Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia was dismissed on the grounds of being statute barred.
Justice John Inyang Okoro, who led a 5-man panel of Justices of the Apex Court in a brief ruling, dismissed the appeal following its withdrawal by the Appellant.
Before the withdrawal, a hot argument had ensued between Prof Shija’s counsel, Mr Kenneth Ikonne and that of the APC, Mr Matthew Burkaa on when the cause of action arose.
While Shija’s counsel insisted that the cause of action arose on May 28, 2022, the APC counsel, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, stood his ground that the cause of action emanated on May 26.
The APC drew the attention of the Court to Shija’s letter in which he complained about an event on May 26 and 27 and dissociated himself from it.
Although the Professor insisted that the cause of action arose on May 28, when the results of the primary election was announced, the content of his letter was used against him that he became aware of the cause of action on May 26 and ought to have instituted the suit within 14 days stipulated by section 285 of the 1999 Constitution.
In the end, it was agreed that the suit was filed outside 14 days allowed by law and was subsequently dismissed by a unanimous decision of the Justices.