Stephen Odey and Jarigbe Agom
Stephen Odey and Jarigbe Agom

Senatorial Seat: Stephen Odey loses to Jarigbe Agom again

NEWS DIGEST – Senator Stephen Odey has lost another bid to reclaim his seat as the lawmaker representing Cross River North Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

He suffered his second loss on Saturday when the Court of Appeal in Abuja dismissed his application, asking the court to review its earlier judgement which declared Jarigbe Agom as the right candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the December 2020 by-election in the senatorial district.

In its ruling, a panel of five justices led by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, unanimously dismissed Senator Odey’s application, saying it was an abuse of court processes.

The court also said the appeal was brought in bad faith and ordered him to pay N1 million as a consequential cost to the first, second, and third respondents to the suit.

On July 30, the appellate court in Calabar declared Jarigbe as the right candidate of the PDP and the duly elected lawmaker representing Cross River North Senatorial District.

It set aside the ruling of the National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal delivered on June 18 which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return earlier issued to Jarigbe and issue the same to Odey.

The court also invalidated the Certificate of Return issued to Odey by the electoral umpire and directed the electoral empire to withdraw it.

Dissatisfied with the ruling of the appellate court, Odey approached the Abuja Division of the appeal court for a review.

He asked the appeal court in Abuja to review the ruling delivered in Calabar and set it aside, insisting that Jarigbe did not participate in all the processes that led to the by-election as required by the law.

Jarigbe’s counsel, Emmanuel Ukala, on the other hand, cited Order 20 Rule 4 of the Procedural Rules of the appeal court, saying the court cannot sit over an appeal in its own judgment.