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The Supreme Court has finally put to rest the legal battle over the Cross River North Senatorial seat.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, as the winner of the December 5, 2020 bye-election.
In its judgement on Thursday, the court declared Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe as the winner of the election.
In a split decision of four to three, the apex court dismissed the appeal filed by Senator Stephen Odey, challenging the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which declared Jarigbe as the valid candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
The majority judgment read by Justices Chima Centus Nweze, Samuel Oseji, Tijjani Abubakar and Abdu Aboki upheld the preliminary objections raised by Jarigbe challenging the mode of service of the notice of appeal and accordingly struck out Udeh’s appeal on the ground of improper service.
But in their dissenting judgment, the trio of Justices Musa Dattijo Muhammed; Helen Ogunwumiju and Emmanuel Agim, disagreed with their brother by dismissing the preliminary objections and allowing the appeal.
Meanwhile, the senator representing Cross River North senatorial district, Senator Stephen Adi Odey has said that the supreme court ‘preliminary objections’ ruling does not affect his position as the senator representing the senatorial district.
Odey, who disclosed this in an exclusive interview with newsmen after the court judgement yesterday in Abuja, added that the Supreme Court did not declare Jarigbe winner of the primaries, insisting that he remains the authentic senator representing Cross River North.