Court reserves judgment in dispute over PDP’s candidate for C/River North

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The Supreme Court has reserved judgment in two appeals in relation to the dispute over who, between Senator Stephen Adi Odey and Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, is the authentic candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the December 5, 2020 by-election in Cross River North Senatorial District.

Supreme Court of Nigeria
Supreme Court of Nigeria

A seven-man panel of the apex court, headed by Justice Musa Daitjo Mohammad, announced after lawyers to parties adopted their written arguments, that the date for judgment would be communicated to parties.

At the proceedings on Monday, the court heard the appeal filed by Odey, with John Alaga, Jarigbe and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as respondents.

With the agreement of lawyers to parties, the court elected to apply the judgment in the appeal by Odey to a similar appeal filed by the PDP.

Adopting the appellant’s brief, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, who led Odey’s legal team, urged the court to discountenance the objections raised against the appeal by the Alaga and Jarigbe, proceed to allow the appeal and grant the reliefs sought.

Samuel Ologunorisa, SAN, Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN and Agada Elachi, lawyers to Agada, Jarigbe and INEC, faulted the competence of the appeal and prayed the court to dismiss it for lacking in merit.

In the appeal, Odey is praying the Supreme Court to, among others, set aside a portion of the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal, Abuja on December 17, 2020 directing INEC to recognize Jarigbe as the candidate of the PDP for the by-election.

Odey stated that his party, the PDP conducted its primary election on September 5, 2020 preparatory to the December 5, 2020 by-election.

He added that he won the primary election of the party with 450 votes, while Jarigbe scored 90 votes, subsequent upon Jarigbe sued at the Federal High Court, Port-Harcourt to challenge the outcome of the primary election.

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