By Abasi Ita, Calabar
The National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Calabar has upheld the election of Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe of the People Democratic Party, PDP, as the duly elected Senator for Cross River Northern Senatorial District.
The three-man tribunal headed by Justice M. A. Sambo in a unanimous decision affirmed Senator Jarigbe’s election in the February 25 polls after striking out a petition filed by former Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for lack of evidence.
The erstwhile governor of Cross River, Ben Ayade had in suit number EPT/CR/SEN/02/2023 approached the court to nullify the February 25, 2023 senatorial election on grounds of being riddled with malpractices and lack of compliance with the electoral act.
Ayade also disputed the results issued by INEC from almost 377 polling units citing multiple irregularities during the conduct of the Cross River Northern Senatorial Election.
In a unanimous judgment spanning five hours, and fourteen minutes the Tribunal dismissed the petition stating that there was no sufficient evidence to invalidate the election.
Before arriving at the verdict, the tribunal had dismissed some evidence particularly the presidential result sheet presented by the petitioners for being contrary to what they pleaded in their written statement