…Urges him to withdraw suit against party
By Dirisu Yakubu
The aspiration of Hon. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe into the Cross River North Senatorial seat is back on track following the consideration of the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of the appeal he filed against his disqualification to contest its primary for the parliamentary bye election.
Hon. Jarigbe, a member representing Ogoja/Yala federal constituency in the House of Representatives was disqualified from participating in the primary election on the premise that he instituted a case against the PDP in court. But the lawmaker in an appeal addressed to the national chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus prayed the PDP to “redress and reverse the politically motivated injustice done to me after my clearance.”
According to him, the screening committee duly cleared him after the purchase and submission of his nomination and expression of interest forms after which he was issued a clearance certificate.
“Strangely, however, the appeal panel, ostensibly acting on a script claimed to have received a petition from one Pius Awah and on that basis, purportedly disqualified me from contesting the primary election.
“May I quickly add that the ground of my purported disqualification is not only absurd but also a gross violation of both the party’s constitution and the guidelines for the conduct of the primary election and a decision taken in bad faith against me,” he said in his appeal, arguing that in line with the PDP constitution, “only an aggrieved aspirant can write a petition to the appeal panel,” and Awah is not an aspirant in the election.
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Rising from the NWC meeting in Abuja where his appeal was considered, the party directed Hon. Jarigbe and all those that took the PDP to court to withdraw their cases, assuring that “the needful would be done.”
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan said: “The NWC looked through several issues particularly concerning primaries and congresses. The NWC considered issues concerning states where we have bye elections. Concerning Cross River state, the decision taken by the NWC concerning the Cross River North Senatorial District election and Honourable Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, is that all cases in court should be withdrawn.
“We considered his appeal and you know that the PDP is very procedural. After the withdrawal of suit, the party will do everything that is needful. Jarigbe is not the only member of our party in Cross River state that went to court. There are other cases but because we are being conciliatory, we have directed that those who have matters in court in Cross River should go and withdraw them.”
Asked if withdrawal of the case would pave way for the aspirant to participate in the primary election, the publicity scribe responded in the affirmative saying, “I can assure you that Honourable Jarigbe will be cleared.”
The Cross River North Senatorial seat became vacant following the death of Senator Rose Oko on March 23, 2020 in a London hospital, United Kingdom.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has fixed October 31st for the bye election.