The Senator representing Cross River North, Dr. Stephen Odey, has dismissed reports that a recent Supreme Court ruling had removed him from office.
He said the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, cannot be forced to swear in his opponent, Jarigbe Agom.
Agom is a serving House of Representatives Member representing Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency, who is contesting the senatorial seat with Senator Odey.
“This is a non-issue. All the issues have been resolved, it’s a no-contest. Jarigbe is playing to the gallery,” Odey said in a statement on Tuesday, after receiving a solid delegation from his senatorial district.
Odey said Lawan will not be coerced to take an illegal decision.
“The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan is an Honourable man, he won’t be coerced or pressured into embarking on illegality just because somebody somewhere wants his greed to be obeyed,” Odey told the delegation.
According to him, the issue of who was the authentic candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and winner of the election has been determined by relevant courts and institutions and the party which conducted the primaries.
He acknowledged that an appeal court in Abuja, had ruled that Jarigbe was the candidate of the PDP but opposed it, saying “when I heard, I approached the court to be joined and it acquiesced.
“That was why the case went to the supreme court. And the court ruled that there was an error in service.
“I only approached the court to show cause that the two people contesting my position were illegally laying claims to it and that the person sitting on that seat was alive and well.
“So, the supreme court’s ruling never and did not invalidate my position, I am still the authentic and only senator representing the good people of Cross River North.
“The only court case that dealt with issue of candidate of the PDP was the one that ruled in my favour at the both the Federal High Court Calabar and Court of Appeal Calabar.”
He challenged Jarigbe to present his nomination form, the primary election result sheet, the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) list that published his name and the actual election results to prove he was not only the candidate but also the winner of the December election.
Led by Hon David Okache and Dennis Oko, the group said their visit was to assure the senator that the people in Cross River North Senatorial District were behind him and will ensure they protect the overwhelming electoral mandate he got from the people.
Oko, who spoke and conveyed an official support letter signed by over 400 people from the district covering the five local governments, advised Odey to go about his representation.
“You have been in the Senate for just one hundred days. You have sponsored bills and moved motions. The people are aware of them. They are following you. They want you to carry on like that,” Oko told Odey.
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