Saturday, 19 June 2021

PDP Caretaker Committee celebrate Odey's tribunal victory


As the election petition tribunal today 18th June 2021 upheld the victory of Sen. Stephen Odey, in the 5th December 2020 Cross River Northern Senatorial District by-election, the publicity secretary, of the People's Democratic Party's Caretaker Committee in the state, Hon. Rita Ayim, has said the judicial system has proven that there is indeed, hope for the choice and voice of the common man. 

"The People's Democratic Party, Cross River State has recorded another victory as the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Calabar today, June 18, 2021 affirmed the party as winner of the Cross River Northern Senatorial District by-election in a case filed by the All Progressive Congress and Joe Agi (SAN).The case was struck out for lack of merit. The Judicial system has proven that there is indeed, hope for the choice and voice of the masses." She said. 

While addressing a cross section of the press, the Director General of Cross River State Due Process, Alphonsus Ogar Eba said the judgment was justice on its own, stating that court has again validated the victory of Dr. Stephen Odey while invalidating the claims made by Bar. Joe Agi that the PDP had no candidate in the said by-election. 

"The good news is not about the defection, it's about the justice of the case. What the court has said today was that the petition Joe Agi, SAN filled and said that PDP had no candidate was not true.

"The court found here today that Senator Dr. Stephen Adie Odey was the candidate that was dully sponsored, who participated in all the stages of the election, and was declared winner on the 6th and everything that was done there was perfect and court could not find any reason to upturn that", he said.

Earlier on, the three-man Cross River State Elections Petition Tribunal headed by Hon. Justice Yusuf Ubale Muhammed had in its sitting in Calabar affirmed PDP winner of December 5, 2021 north senatorial by-election and subsequently upheld the victory of Stephen Odey of the PDP.

The tribunal dismissed the reliefs sought by APC's Joe Agi, SAN in Suit No. EPT/CR/03/2020. Justice Muhammed in his judgment, which was read for about four hours, held that Stephen Odey was validly nominated and sponsored by the PDP for the by- elections  and also held that the PDP candidate had no criminal conviction as spelt out by the constitution.

He held that the PDP did not have two candidates for the elections as the party confirmed to have submitted Stephen Odey's name to the Independent National Electoral Commission. Two other members of the tribunal Justice John Abe and Justice Gilbert Alo also concurred with the judgment.

Counsel to the petitioners (Joe Agi and APC), Oladimeji Ekemgba said they will study the judgment and avail their clients with the best advise in what to do.
He said they have seen some appealable grounds and will test it and be able to know whether the political party is permitted under our law to field  two candidates for an election.
He said their main ground here is that PDP fielded two candidates for the election while their other party fielded one candidate.

Speaking on the judgement, Rt Hon Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, said the Election Petition Tribunal had no powers to make pronouncement on who is the authentic candidate of PDP as the Supreme Court has already decided on that issue.