A member of the House of Representatives representing Ogoja/Iyala Federal Constituency of Cross River Hon. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe has asked the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan to immediately give effect to the judgement of the Supreme Court, which affirmed him as the duly elected Senator for Cross River North.
Jarigbe said the Senate President should immediately inaugurate him as a Senator in accordance with the judgement of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court which affirmed him as the authentic candidate of the PDP for the Senatorial bye election.
He also wants the Senate leadership stop his opponent, Stephen Odey, who has been sacked by the Supreme Court from attending plenary as such an act was illegal.
Jarigbe and Stephen Odey have been locked in a legal battle regarding who is the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the vacant Cross River north Senatorial district following the death of Senator Rose Okoh.
While the PDP national Secretariat submitted the name of Odey to INEC as its candidate, Jarigbe, who said he won the party primary conducted with the “authentic delegate list and monitored by INEC” claimed he was the real candidate of the party.
Odey and Jarigbe approached the Court with the High Court in Abuja declaring Jarigbe as the real candidate while another High Court in Calabar declared Odey as the candidate.
However, in its judgement delivered on the 25th of February, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal filed by Odey and upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal that Jarigbe was the authentic candidate of the party.
Some members of the House of Representatives had met with the Clark to the National Assembly to find out why Jarigbe has not been sworn in only to discover that the judgement file was yet to get to the Senate President.
However, Jarigbe told Assembly correspondents that some staff of the National Assembly deliberately hide the file containing the judgement of the Supreme Court from the Senate President, saying “that file did not get to the Senate President until yesterday (Wednesday). I am sure that the Senate President will not disobey the judgement of the court”.
Responding to claims by his opponent that the Supreme Court never gave any consequential order for him to vacate the Senate, Jarigbe said “how can you be a Senator when you are not the candidate of the party? Can you put something on nothing?
He said: “There were two Supreme Court judgements. The first had to do with the issue of delegate list and the party structure in the state which was decided on the 6th of January, 2021 by the Supreme Court.
“It confirmed the delegate list that was used in conducting the primary where I emerged as the party candidate and was monitored by INEC.
“The reports are there. The issue he is talking about is not known to law when he says that he was not asked to vacate the Senate.
“If you were not the candidate of the party, how will you emerge as a Senator on the platform of the party? Can you put something on nothing and expect it to stand? We had a litany of pre-election issues”.
The lawmaker expressed confidence the leadership of the Senate will comply with the judgement of the Supreme Court and inaugurate him as a Senator despite alleged moves by the Cross River government to frustrate the exercise.
He accused Odey of impunity by attending plenary when he was no longer a Senator.
He urged the Senate leadership to do the needful by stopping him from further attending plenary since he has been sacked by a competent Court