Mr Emmanuel Jime, the All Progressive Congress (APC), governorship candidate in the 2019 governorship race, has accepted the Supreme Court verdict that affirmed Gov. Samuel Ortom’s re-election, in good faith.
This was contained in a press statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen in Makurdi on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court had earlier affirmed the re-election of Ortom and dismissed APC and its governorship candidate’s petition for lack of merit.
“Today, the Supreme Court ruled on a petition we brought before it challenging earlier rulings on the outcome of the 2019 governorship elections in Benue State.
“The court’s decision unfortunately did not go in our favour, bringing to a close our legal quest on the matter.
“Sad as the Supreme Court judgment is to me, our party and teeming supporters, we accept the verdict in good faith, and take its implications in our stride,” the statement said.
It said that the decision to challenge the outcome of the 2019 governorship election was to strengthen the country’s electoral process and not “to take advantage of the judicial process for the sake of it”.
“It was and remains our firm belief that unless the sanctity of the ballot is guaranteed, self serving politicians will continue to game the system to retain their clutch on power.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank our legal team. They put up a dogged fight and presented a good case with solid evidence.
“I also extend my appreciation to the Justices of the Supreme Court, who, in spite of a back-breaking workload, gave our petition the thorough attention it deserved. The outcome notwithstanding, we remain highly respectful of their verdict,” the statement said.
It thanked Sen. George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Benue State APC executive committee members, party leaders and members of the Jime/Ode Campaign Organisation for the support.
“Lastly, let me address the good people of Benue. The verdict announced by the Supreme Court today signals an end to our inquest on the 2019 governorship election in Benue.
“It does not mean we will take our eyes off governance issues as they affect people of Benue.
“So, let this serve as a notice that whenever we notice that our people are being shortchanged by those who hold the reins of power, we will speak up in defence of their rights,” the statement said.