The battle for the Cross River North Senatorial seat which was won by the Peoples Democratic Party at the December 5, rescheduled elections has taken a different 24 hours after Dr. Stephen Odey was sworn in by the Clerk of the Senate.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has just declared Hon. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe as the duly nominated candidate of the PDP and the rightful winner of the election against Dr. Odey who was declared by INEC and sworn in by the Senate.
The Court also ordered the INEC to immediately issue a Certificate of Return to Hon. Jarigbe and withdraw the one earlier issued to Dr. Stephen Odey.
In its unanimous judgment, the court of Appeal upheld the judgment of the trial court that the primaries which produced Jarigbe was conducted with the correct and authentic list of delegates and that Hon Jarigbe having scored the highest number of valid votes in the primary election is the validly nominated candidate of the PDP.
The Appeal Court also upheld the position of the Federal High Court that the primary election was duly monitored by the INEC in line with the law hence was a valid primary election of the PDP.
This judgment has abruptly halted the seeming advantage Dr. Stephen Odey got yesterday when he was invited by the Clerk of the Senate to take his oath of office and allegiance. This is despite another order of the FCT High Court which restrained the Senate from swearing Dr. Odey in as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
By this judgment and until the Supreme Court gives its final judgment, Hon. Jarigbe is expected to be sworn in immediately to sit to represent the good people of Cross River North Senatorial District.