By Amos Aar
THE Benue State gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rev. Fr Hyacinth Iormem Alia, has appealed to aggrieved aspirants who contested with him in the 2022 primaries to sheath their swords for the sake of unity towards achieving victory for the party in the forthcoming general elections.
In a statement signed by Donald Kumun, the Deputy Director of Communications (Public Affairs) of the Alia/Ode 2023 Governorship Campaign Organisation, Fr. Alia “also called on his supporters not to engage in acerbic discourse and vulgar name-calling of his co-contestants, Prof. Terhemba Shija, Chief Senator Barnabas Gemade, Chief Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN, but show them respect as elder statesmen in their right”.
National Record gathered that the appeal by the Catholic priest for his co-contestants to embrace peace is sequel to their threat to proceed to Appeal Court to challenge the judgement of a Federal High Court given in his favour last week.
Sen. Gemade and a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Aõndoakaa, SAN, have issued statements that they will appeal against the judgement.
Gemade in a statement through his media aide, Comrade Solo Dzuah, said his suit against Rev. Fr. Alia was struck out “on unfounded technical grounds” and so he would appeal against the judgement.
On his part, former AGF, Aõndoakaa, in a statement attributed to him on social media wrongly dated 3rd November, 2022 while the judgement was passed on 1st December, 2022, said he had already appealed against the judgement but declined to discuss details of the case.
The statement personally signed by the former minister of Justice, simply titled “Aondoakaa Press Statement” and posted by Justice Tarhemba on Facebook, reads in full:
“I wish to state that I have appealed the decision of the Federal High Court, which struck out my case against the alleged All Progressives Congress, APC governorship primaries in Benue State.
“In order not to pre-judice the case, I would rather not discuss the specifics of the Federal High Court’s Judgment but I have spoken with my legal team and will be exploring every legal avenue and democratic option available to me in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Constitution of my party, APC.
“I appeal to my supporters to remain calm and maintain unwavering faith in the Nigerian judiciary and our great party APC.”