Dr Steve Odey who was last week inaugurated as senator is no more sure of retaining the seat. On Monday, INEC issued a certificate of return to his opponent, Mr Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, who was declared winner of the bye-election by the court of appeal.
There has been a serious fight between Odey and Jarigbe over actually won the PDP ticket for the election. On the eve of the election, both Odey and Jarigbe secured judgments from different high court, affirming them as candidates.
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While a high court in Abuja confirmed Jarigbe as the PDP candidate, another court in Calabar ruled that Odey was the candidate. The two of them had gone into the election claiming to be flagbearers of the PDP.
When the PDP was eventually declared winner, INEC declared Odey as winner as he was eventually issued a certificate of return. He was however inaugurated by the senate president a day after other senators who won similar bye-election elsewhere were inaugurated.
But about 24 hours later, the apex court gave an order, cancelling whatever gains Odey thought he had made. Last week, Odey had appeared on a national television where he claimed that the state governor, Prof Ben Ayade actually told him to present himself for the election. Ayade has also been seen to be fighting to ensure that Odey gets the seat.
The impression is that a win for Odey would guarantee that Ayade returns to the senate in 2013 when his tenure as governor ends.
However, with current developments, it is not certain if Ayade’s speculated plans would still be a reality.