Wednesday, 11 August 2021

C'River North Senate Battle intensifies as INEC issues Certificate of return to Jarigbe while Appeal court set to deliver judgment today

Correspondent | 12th August 2021

A court of Appeal sitting in Calabar had on 30th July 2021 delivered a judgement which seems to have put to rest the almost one year election matter between Jarigbe Agom and Stephen Odey when it asked the Election umpire, INEC to issue a fresh Certificate of Return to Jarigbe Agom declaring him winner of the December 5th by election for Northern Senatorial District. 

But unexpectedly Joe Agi the APC candidate in that election filed an application asking the court "to amend, correct and or set aside the order made in her judgment of July 30, which directed that Jarigbe be re-issued the Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He insisted that the Court of Appeal judgment of July 30 was in error and should be reviewed and corrected to return him as the winner, having scored the highest lawful vote in the by-election in which the PDP had no lawful candidate.

Also in a similar development, Steven Odey also appealed the judgment insisting that the July 30 judgment was in error because Jarigbe did not file a cross-petition and cannot be entitled to any relief of the court warranting his being declared a winner of the election.

He said he polled the highest votes in the election as declared by INEC and he was duly sponsored by his party, PDP.

Agi and Odey are crying foul over the Appeal Tribunal judgment. While Agi is asking for a review, Odey wants the judgment, which ousted him from the senate, to be set aside.

In the two applications read Tuesday in Abuja, Agi in the court documents said his motion is pursuant to Section 6(6), 246(3) of the 1999 Constitution –(as amended and Order 6 Rule 12: Order 19 Rule 4) of the Court of Appeal Rules 2016 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

Senator-elect Jarigbe's counsel argued that counsels to Joe Agi and Steven Odey didn't serve him or his client their motions properly and so, therefore, prayed the court to adjourn the matter.

While the court adjourned till Thursday 12th August 2021, to unfailingly hear the matter before it, INEC had yesterday Wednesday 11th August issued a certificate of return to Jarigbe Agom not minding the cases in  court. 

This will be making it the third certificate of return INEC will be issuing out in this particular by-election. Recall that INEC had in December 2020 issued a certificate of return to Jarigbe, later another was issued to Stephen Odey and yesterday another has been issued to Jarigbe again.