Cross River tribunal upholds Odey’s victory, faults INEC for issuing Jarigbe CoR
Idagbo, Agara, others dump PDP for APC
Cross River State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting Calabar, has upheld the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Stephen Odey as representative of Cross River North Senatorial District bye-election.
The tribunal struck out the two grounds of appeal filed by Joe Agi (SAN) for lacking in merit and held that they were pre-election matters that could best be determined at the High Court.
Agi had filed a petition to the effect that the first and second respondents (Odey and Jarigbe Agom) were not qualified to contest the Cross River North Senatorial District by-election of December 5, 2020, as they were not sponsored by the PDP and did not participate in all stages of the election.
He said contrary to Section 285 (13) of the 1999 Constitution and Section 141 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the fourth respondent returned them on December 6, 2020 and December 18, 2020 and that Odey submitted an affidavit containing false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to aid his qualification for the election.
“As for the evidence before the tribunal, the first petitioner alleged that the third respondent sponsored two candidates for the by-election, which led to the issuance of two certificates of return to Odey on December 6, 2020 and another to Jarigbe Agom on February 18, 2021,” the tribunal ruled.
It also argued that Jerigbe was not a candidate in the election and that the certificate of return (CoR) INEC issued him was done in error and should be disregarded.
SIMILARLY, representative of Obudu/Bekwarra/Obanliku Federal Constituency of Cross River, Legor Idagbo and 2019 senatorial aspirant, Chris Agara along with 30,000 others have defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The defection took place barely a month after Governor Benedict Ayade defected to the APC.
Speaking in company of his supporters at the rally in Abuochiche, headquarters of Bekwarra Council, Idagbo said: “Today marks the beginning of a new era in Cross River politics. Old things have passed away and new things were on the way.”