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Twist In C'River North As INEC Issues Jarigbe Fresh Certificate

Following Appeal Court ruling in Abuja which de-clared Mr Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe as the duly nominated candidate of the PDP and the rightful winner of the election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued a certificate of return to him. Dr. Stephen Odey previously declared by INEC to have won the recently conducted Cross River North bye election and was subsequently sworn in by the Senate. Going by the Appeal Court judgement, Mr Jarigbe is now the senator-elect representing Cross River North Senatorial District. The certificate which was presented to the incoming senator by INEC national commissioner and chairman of its information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, therefore, nullifies that issued earlier to Dr. Stephen Odey. Senator-elect, Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe will be sworn in on the January 26, 2021 and consequently, any previously issued certificate of return for the position stands retrieved. In a statement issued by the senator -elect shortly after receiving his certificate of return at INEC headquarters, Abuja, and made available to newsmen, Jarigbe said " unlike those who were coerced by their boss to run for the Cross River North bye election, I came for the good people of Cross River North. He said "I am motivated that they believe in me and find me worthy to reclaim the lost glory of our region. Like I have always said, Cross River North and her people remain my topmost priority. "

 Jarigbe added that "Together we shall build the Cross River North of our dreams and not personal or family dynasties. We shall build reliable institutions for the benefit and prosperity of all. God bless Cross River North. The Appeal Court in its unanimous judgment on December 17, 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 Mr. Jarigbe having scored the highest number of valid votes in the primary election is the validly nominated candidate of the PDP. In his Suit No. CV/77/2020, the claimant, John Alaga had urged the court to disqualify the candidature of Jarigbe on strength of the alleged false information and other allegations. But in his judgment, Justice Mohammed sitting in court 27, Apo Division of the FCT High Court held that the claimant has failed to prove his case. Justice Binta Mohammed had in her judgment, held that contrary to the claim of the claimant, John Alaga, the defendant (Jarigbe) did not supply any false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in his INEC Form CF001 by purporting to have sat for / and or obtained educational qualification making him eligible to contest for the Cross River North Senatorial Bye election. The court also held that the Cross River North senatorial primary election of the PDP wherein Jarigbe (1st defendant) was nominated as the senatorial candidate was conducted with the authentic list of the ward and local government area executives of the party. Justice Mohammed further held that "the first defendant having won the highest number of valid votes at the said primary election is validly nominated as the candidate of the PDP for the Cross River North Senatorial Bye election scheduled to hold on October 31, 2020 or any other date. That the primary election of the PDP for the Cross River North Senatorial held on September 5, 2020, was duly nominated by INEC (2nd defendant) and therefore valid and in accordance with the law. The court therefore directed INEC, sued as the second defendant, to include and publish the name of Mr.Jarigbe on the list of candidates for the bye election scheduled for December 5, 2020. The INEC was also further ordered to give Mr. Jarigbe every other rights and privileges pertaining to his lawful qualification and nomination as the PDP candidate. The primary election of the PDP has been enmeshed in legal tussle since September 5, when it was conducted. But Mr Stephen Odey at NTA programme, Political Update Live had said he would head for the Supreme Court for determination on the final matter of who is the authentic party candidate and winner of December 5 by-election for the zone.

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