PDP, APC appeal tribunal judgment on C’River north senatorial by-election

The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in the December 5, 2020 by-election for the Cross River North senatorial district, Senator Stephen Odey, his Challenger for the party ticket, Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe as well as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Barr Joe Agi, have rejected the June 18, 2021 judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal.

Odey and Jarigbe are both of the PDP and are contending for party ticket, while Agi was the sole candidate of the APC in the by-election.

They have all headed to the Appeal Court with different reasons on why the judgement should not stand.

Recall that although Odey and Jarigbe had laid claims to the PDP ticket for the said election, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, had declared Senator Odey as the winner. The tribunal also said Odey won the election but surprisingly, Odey said he has reasons for seeking the upturn of the judgment.

He is contending that there were particulars of error in the judgment, relating to the allegation of submission of false information in aid of his qualification.

On his part, Jarigbe asked the appellate Court “to determine who was the rightful candidate of the PDP in the by-election.”

He also asked that he should be declared duly nominated and sponsored in the by-election as well as a declaration that the certificate of return issued Odey is a nullity.

On Agi’s part, he gave 10 grounds for challenging the tribunal’s judgment.

He averred, among others, that the tribunal “wrongly held that the grounds of the petition were pre-election matter, without taking into cognizance the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal in the following cases which were indeed brought to the attention of the Tribunal by the Appellants, Viz: PDP V. INEC (2014) 17 NWLR (Pt. 1437), FALEKE V. INEC (2016) 8 NWLR (Pt. 1543) and APC V. OHARISI (2019) LPELR – 48924 (CA).”

He further averred that that tribunal judges misdirected themselves in law when they held that “We did not find where the Court nullified the Certificate of Return to the 1st Respondent (Odey)”.

As at press time, it could not be confirmed when the matter would come up for hearing in the appellate court.