Appeal Court Set To Rule On Cross River North Senatorial Seat Dispute
The Court of Appeal in Abuja is set to deliver a ruling on the Cross River North senatorial district by-election dispute between Senator Stephen Odey and Jarigbe Agom.
Odey had filed the appeal after the Court of Appeal in Calabar invalidated the Certificate of Return issued to him by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the December 5, 2020, election.
Through his counsel, Senator Odey has asked the Appeal Court in Abuja to review and set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal in Calabar, Cross River State made in favour of Jarigbe.
His counsel, Mubarak Adekilekun, argued that Jarigbe did not participate in all the processes that led to the by-election as required by the law.
But Jarigbe’s counsel, Emmanuel Ukala, who cited Order 20 Rule 4 of the Procedural Rules of the appeal court argued that the court cannot sit over an appeal in its own judgment.
In the judgment delivered on July 30, the Calabar Division of the appeal court declared Jarigbe as the duly elected Senator for Cross River North Senatorial District.
A three-man panel of justices, led by Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme, declared Jarigbe as the lawful candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the poll after hearing the briefs of arguments filed and exchanged by parties in the appeals, as well as the submissions of the counsels representing the appellants and the defendants in the suits.
It set aside the ruling of the National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal delivered on June 18 which ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return earlier issued to Jarigbe and issue the same to Odey.
The court had invalidated the Certificate of Return issued to Senator Odey by INEC and directed the electoral empire to withdraw it.