The Election Petition Tribunal seating in Calabar over the By-Election of December 5, 2020 in Cross River North Senatorial district, on Friday gave its final judgment affirming Senator Stephen Odey of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as duly elected.
The three man tribunal, presided over by Justice Yusuf Ubale Muhammad in a four hour long judgment read by Justice Muhammad dismissed the petition No: EPT/CR/SEN/03/2020 between Joe Agi SAN and the All Progressive Congress as the 1st and 2nd Petitioners versus Stephen Odey, Jerigbe Agom Jerigbe, Peoples’ Democratic Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission as 1st to 4th respondents respectively.
The Tribunal agreed with the preliminary objections earlier raised by the Respondents and held that the petition lacked merits before it, as the grounds of the petition was only suited for a pre-election matter.
It noted that among the issues before it, is if the PDP had a candidate that was duly nominated and if the petitioner was justified by the instant petition?
The judgment further noted that the petitioner admitted during cross examination by saying, “let it be on records that I am not contesting the votes, all I am saying is that the PDP had no candidate in the election and so the votes scored are wasted votes.”
The first respondent, Sen. Odey scored 129,307 votes and the Petitioner scored 18,165votes in the election. And as for the petition arguing that the two candidates for the PDP were not qualified to stand election as on the election day of December 5, 2020, the Tribunal judgment said thus;
“The question to ask is in view of the admission of the petitioner that he is not a member of the PDP and he left since 2017, does he have the locus standi to challenge the primaries of the PDP? The definite answer is no!”
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