By Patrick Obia
The Senator representing Cross River Northern senatorial district in the senate, Sen. Jarigbe Agom has congratulated his rival in the 2023 general elections and Governor of the State, Sen. Ben Ayade after emerging victorious on the Federal High Court judgment.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had delivered judgment in favor of Governor Ayade of a pre-election suit filed by Barrister Cecilia Adams; a senatorial aspirant under the All Progressive Congress (APC) seeking to disqualify Mr. Ayade who is seen to have contravened section 35 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
Sen. Agom who is seeking to retain his Northern senatorial seat after the court judgment applauded his opponent – Ayade positing that though he (Governor Ayade) has gotten the favor of the court but has the people of Northern Cross River to contend with.
“Congratulations to my opponent, in the upcoming senate election, Sen. Ben Ayade, for winning the Pre-Election suit filed by Barr. Cecilia Adams, at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division.
The Court’s verdict might not have done justice to Cecilia Adams but we advise that she moves on, rather than throw tantrums at the Judge, typical of what the protégés of Ayadeism would have been doing if the decision went otherwise. We have not heard strange lexicons like “Federal High Court Candidate “ et al. This is how to differentiate between urbane personalities and timid people. It is strange when you see people who are supposed to be Lawyers behaving like louts.”
He continued: “For those who are insinuating that I am behind the case, I have no apologies, as far as what we do is Constitutional. We have also challenged INEC, in a separate suit, as a party, relying on section 285 (14C), of the 4th alteration to the 1999 Constitution, as amended, which gives us locus to challenge INEC for publishing the name of a candidate who is not validly nominated in line with the Electoral Act.
“Section 35 of the Electoral Act provides that an individual cannot be nominated in more than one constituency. Nigeria is a constituency, as it concerns presidential primaries and Cross River North is a constituency, as it has to do with the senatorial election. Ayade got nominated for both, in one election year, in contravention of section 35 of the Electoral Act. It is not yet ‘Uhuru’ for Governor Ayade.”
The sitting senator called on Governor Ben Ayade not to jubilate and in a haste to execute projects as his “abysmal performance as governor” will not give him the senatorial seat.
“My point is, let us not get hysterical at every point, judgments of courts are not in our favor, to the extent of pouring invectives on the court and the Judges/Justices.
“We have a long legal battle ahead of us, so let us slow down on the premature jubilation. Even when Ayade is affirmed as a candidate, he still has the electorates to contend with. We all know that he has failed in the Court of Public Opinion, due to his abysmal performance as Governor. His latest move is to try to hurriedly and shabbily do the things I have already done. Typical of it is the Ukelle Road, which he refused to do, but suddenly ran there because he heard I had mobilized contractors to the Site.
“Vox Populi, Vox Dei! (the voice of the people, is the voice of God), Cross River North will get the senator that will serve the people, by his grace. Let the people choose, but we can never be bullied. We remain unconquerable.”