After the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, issued a fresh Certificate of Return, COR, to Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe as winner and duely elected candidate of the PDP to represent Cross River Northern Senatorial district in Nigeria’s Senate, Stephen Odey, earlier issued a COR by the same INEC, is insisting that he is the real candidate of the party and that INEC’s latest action is a nullity.
Speaking on “Politics Today”, the Africa Independent Television, AIT, flagship political programme, Odey strongly maintains that he scored “… 450 votes against Jarigbe Agom’s miserable 90 votes… I am a sitting senator…let him come to the public and show evidence that he was duly elected”, he said as he bandied several documents to substantiate his claims.
Speaking further, Odey was emphatic that the Appeal Court judgement that declared Agom the PDP’s candidate is a ” slap on the Judiciary. It is a shame to democracy. The public is being hoodwinked by the antics of Hon. Jarigbe, we will push it to the Supreme Court…I am aware that he is being sponsored by one of the governors. In an attempt to swear him in, a governor that would tell you that everybody must be loyal to him is busy running up and down trying to influence people in other states. I can tell you that the governor of Rivers state (Nyesome Wike) called and demanded that Jarigbe be sworn-in”, an allegation that was not proven at press time.
Pressed for further comments, Odey continued, “did he campaign, was he a candidate? I scored 129,000 votes in the main election, even Jarigbe himself cannot withstand me. I was his campaign DG when he ran the House of Reps election, he knows that he has no capacity to withstand me. While I toured the entire district campaigning, he was hopping from court to court looking for judgements.”
When Jarigbe came on the programme, he described Odey as Gov. Ayade’s ally. “He was his Personal Assistant, P.A, when Ayade was in the Senate. The governor use to send him to me. I sat on that table when the governor was made governor and he was a boy. So when I hear him talk about me as this young boy, I just wonder…he says he is 47, I celebrated my 50th birthday last week, there must be something wrong with his physiology. Everybody who came to
Confronted with Odey’s submission that he (Jarigbe) procured the Appeal Court judgement in his favour, Jarigbe responded, “I don’t know if this Stephen Odey is truly a lawyer because that statement is very unlike a lawyer’s. That is a criminal accusation, those things should be proven beyond reasonable doubts…everybody who came to conduct the primaries came from Delta state; they were all friends of the governor.” He offered explanations for why he was not sworn-in as the court judgement was in his favour. “I will have to complete my documentation first. The Senate will obey the court order”, he concluded.
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