Lawan swears in Jarigbe as Senator

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The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday, swear-in Jarigbe Jarigbe as the senator representing Cross River North Senatorial District.

Jarigbe replaced Stephen Odeh who was sacked by the Appeal Court on July 31.

Jarigbe won the Peoples Democratic Party primary election to replace the late Senator Rose Oko but Odeh was declared as the winner.

The bye-election was invariably held and Odeh was declared the winner on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, and sworn-in as Senator.

However, the Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar on Friday, July 31, 2021, declared Jarigbe as senator-elect, following the December 5, 2020, Cross River North Senatorial District by-election.

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The three-member tribunal headed by Justice Chioama Iheme-Nwosu dismissed an earlier ruling by the Election Petition Tribunal, which declared Senator Stephen Odey the winner of that election.

The court in Suit No. CAL/C/NAEA/SEN/167/2021 ruled that the tribunal erred by making a resolution in an area it had no jurisdiction.

It also dismissed the preliminary objections and ruled that considering the facts and circumstances, judgment was best served by going into the merit of the appeals.

According to the court, its job has been made easier by the previous judgments tendered before it. The court said it decided to give effect to the previous judgments since the tribunal refused to do so.

Justice Iheme-Nwosu said it was an affront for the tribunal to jettison the decision of the Supreme Court on the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The judge said, “It is our humble and firm view that the issue calls for consideration whether the tribunal was right to jettison the decision of the High Court, Appeal Court, and Supreme Court and declare the 1st Respondent (Odey) as validly elected.

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Also, the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division, had ruled in the separate applications brought before it that it had no jurisdiction to review and amend the decision regarding the Cross River Senatorial District by-election given by the Calabar Division of the court in the given circumstances.

In the ruling on the first application, the court gave a unanimous decision in the application brought by Joe Agi and the All Progressives Congress.

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The court held that it had no jurisdiction to review its decision in the circumstances.

President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban Mensem, stated this while delivering the ruling on Saturday.

Justice Dongban-Mensem, leading the five-man panel, held that the applicants had not shown any slip for the court to amend its judgment.

She stated that the court had performed its judicial duties under Section 246 of the Constitution and has become functus officio.

The court also stated that the applicants were not sincere in their application and only sought for review when the matter was not favourable to them after it had gone through the judicial process.

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