In what sounded like a threat, Dr Steve Odey who was sacked as senator by the court of appeal last week, has said pilloried the judges who delivered the judgement, accusing them of handing over what he called his own mandate to a person he called an interloper.
He also said he hoped that Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe who was declared winner of the Cross River North Senatorial District election would “stay and enjoy the seat.” His utterances have been interpreted that Jarigbe might not be alive to enjoy the seat.
Jarigbe himself has also gave same interpretation to the statement which Odey made in a national television in response to the court of appeal judgement. Odey had said that the judgment was in bad taste and unheard of in the history of jurisprudence.
“I have never seen this kind of issue before, twice somebody filed the matter 24th of August, 2020, 24th of August, that election was conducted on the 6th of September and then that matter went to Supreme Court, which was of course was a pre-election matter on delegates list and then justices of the court of appeal will come and use pre-election matter to determine election petition matter.
“The person they have taken my mandate and given to him, Hon. Jarigbe did not contest election, did not fill any form, his name was not forwarded by the party, he did not fill nomination form, by virtue of section 141 of the Electoral Act, he did not participate, and then you carry the mandate of somebody who scored 129,000 votes and give to somebody that was not a candidate, that did not contest election, he did not file anything at the tribunal, he did not seek for any relieve, I was not even served, and then they brought people from Abuja and came and sat, a day, the second day, they fixed date for judgment.
“They didn’t even read the(case) file because as a lawyer, if they had read the file, they will know that even me I was not served. I was in Abuja doing my legislative work and then somebody will tell lies that he filed petition and I was not served and the justices will come and determine. I think this is a rape on democracy. So my victory has been taken and given to an interloper.
“I think I wish him well, if he will stay and enjoy that seat. Nigerians, we must have… because time will come now that if you contest election, you sit down, somebody that will not contest election will just ambush you in court, and court removes you. So everybody, this is a lesson, this my case is a case study for all Nigerians and democracy will not thrive if we continue like this in Nigeria. It’s a sorry development. But I want to urge my supporters and all my fans to remain focused and steadfast. This is not the end of life, I think I am stronger and I am better focused.
Reacting to Odey’s statement, Jarigbe said “I listened to Stephen Odey get vociferous on TV, a couple of days back, after the court’s verdict, when he threatened that I was not going to occupy the Senate seat.
“I want to advise him to repent of his voodoo politics, so he doesn’t get consumed by the wrath of God. You do not try to kill a child of God. I did not go to shrines to kill you or assassinate you when your boss brutally took our mandate and gave to you. We should always remember retributive justice.”