The suspended Benue Catholic priest, Hyacinth Alia, has won the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress in the state.
The embattled Alia was earlier suspended from celebrating public Eucharistic mass by the Catholic Bishop of Gboko Diocese, William Avenya, due to his participation in partisan politics.
Alia won 12 out of the 23 local government areas of the state with a total of 464,391 votes.
He beat his rivals, Mathias Byuan, who won in one local government and a former Minister of State for Niger Delta, Sam Ode, who won in five LGAs.
Former Deputy Governor, Steven Lawani, also won in five LGAs but trailed the ex-minister behind.
However, a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mike Aondoakaa, as well as the immediate past Chief of Staff to Governor Samuel Ortom, who defected to the APC when the zoning arrangements did not favour him, lost their council areas to the Catholic priest.