Agi moves to use recent Supreme Court Judgment against Odey in Bye- Election tribunal
...Jerigbe supports application
…ruling on application set for March 11
By Our ADMIN
The Election Tribunal sitting over cases that followed the December 5, 2020 Bye-Elections in Cross River State Northern Senatorial District on Thursday listened to an application seeking for amendment by Counsel to Joe Agi SAN, the candidate of the All Progressive Congress in the bye- election.
Agi in the application taken by his counsel Emmanuel Sani Esq. is seeking amendments to his earlier application considering fresh facts from the Appeal and Supreme Courts.
A recent Supreme Court Judgment on a pre-election matter, penultimate week took a decision which is against the mandate presently held by Senator Steven Odey of the Peoples’ Democratic Party representing the Northern Senatorial district of Cross River State.
In the Election Tribunal, Counsel to Steven Odey of the PDP, the 1st respondent to the Petition, Mr. Monjok Agom Esq. tried to oppose the amendments sought for by Agi but was refused as he did not file a formal reply earlier to that effect as allowed by law.
Counsel to Mr. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe also of the PDP the 2nd respondent, Mr Mba Ukweni SAN, that of INEC the 4th respondent Mr. M. K. Abdullahi and that of PDP the 3rd respondent Mr. Adedamola Fanokun did not oppose the application and amendments by the petitioner, Mr Agi as they too did not file any formal objection.
Agi's counsel had argued that in the cause of his reply to Odey’s earlier asking for the tribunal to strike out his case; his typist had made an error omitting a particular paragraph and pleaded with the tribunal to allow it.
The Chairman of the three-man Tribunal, Justice Yusuf Ubale Muhammad after listening to the arguments and submissions to the counsel to Agi said “ruling on the issue of amendment is hereby adjourned to March 11”.
Earlier the 1st respondent to the Petition before the Tribunal, Steven Odey had applied for an order seeking to striking out or dismissing the petition (by Agi) as being incompetent, fundamentally defective...Our further prayer or alternative to one above is an order striking out jointly or severally" some specific paragraphs of the Petitioners petition and any other order as this court pleases”
Mba Ukweni SAN, who is counsel to the 2nd respondent, Jerigbe Agom Jerigbe on his part also supported Odey’s application for the substantive petition by Agi to be struck out.According to him, "we are in support of the application. The preliminary objection is a wage that will further push our case".
INEC the 4th respondent as well as the PDP being the third respondent equally aligned with "the petition of the 1st Respondent urging this tribunal to dismiss the petition"
The Petitioners counsel, Sani Esq submitted that "we filed a seven paragraphs counter affidavit disposed to by the 1st Petitioner dated March 1alongside a written address also dated March 1 2021 and we most sincerely adopt the written address and urge his lordship to dismiss 1st respondent's application".
The Tribunal Chairman Justice Yusuf Ubale Muhammad after listening to the arguments and submissions to the counsels noted that ruling on the preliminary objection from Odey is reserved and will be taken along with the substantive ruling on the petition.
The tribunal is currently on the pre-hearing session where all preliminary objections are taken from parties in the case. According to the tribunal chairman, as soon as hearing on the main petition starts, no preliminary objection will be taken again and the tribunal will dictate the pace to ensure smooth running of the petition on a day to day bases except on Sundays. “We will not allow anybody to frustrate the petition"