An Appeal Court in Calabar, yesterday upheld the election of the member representing Obudu/Yala Federal Constituency, Hon Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe as senator elect of Cross River North Senatorial District.
A three-man panel led by Justice Chioma Iheme-Nwosu dismissed an earlier ruling by the Tribunal which declared Senator Stephen Odey as winner.
In Suit No CAL/C/NAEA/SEN/167/2021, the court stated that the tribunal erred by making a resolution in an area it had no jurisdiction.
The Appeal Court dismissed the preliminary injunctions stressing that considering the facts and circumstances, judgment is best served by going into the merit of the appeals.
“It is our humble and firm view that the issue calls for consideration whether the tribunal was right to jettison the decision of the High Court, Appeal Court and Supreme Court and declare the 1st Respondent (Odey) as validly elected.
“The law does not allow the tribunal to take a different position as the law has already affirmed that Hon Jarigbe is the candidate validly sponsored.
“We are bound by the decisions of previous courts and return Jarigbe as Senator Elect for Cross River North.
However, a statement from Senator Stephen Odey’s Media Team, signed by Mathew Okachie said, “The verdict of the Court of Appeal judgement in Calabar today is a clear rape on justice and on our democracy, yet we are strong and remain strong going forward.”
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State, High Chief Higgins Peters, yesterday congratulated Hon Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe over appeal court judgment which was ruled in his favour, declaring Jarigbe as authentic winner for December 5, Cross River North senatorial district by-election.
Peters lauded Jarigbe while reacting to yesterday’s Appeal Court judgment that nullified Senator Stephen Odey’s victory of December 5, Cross River North Senatorial District by-election in a telephone discussion with LEADERSHIP Weekend correspondent.
The APC Chieftain, who doubles as chief executive officer (CEO) of Opal Global also commended Senator Stephen Odey for conceding defeat, adding that the judgment was premeditated and more of an alternative reality
“I will also like to commend Dr Steven Odey for conceding defeat even when it is clear and evidential that the judgement was premeditated and more of an alternative reality in law where a judgement would be given against a non-candidate of a party (John Alaga) but executed on a duly elected candidate of a party (Steven Odey).
“Nonetheless, in the spirit of brotherhood and oneness of the northern senatorial district of Cross River State in which I am a stakeholder, I would like to extend my congratulations to Jarigbe and his supporters.”
Peter implored everyone in Cross River North to take the judgement as a test of our oneness and the APC family should take it as a test of strength and loyalty.