From America and with songs of victory on his lips a few minutes after the election petitions tribunal threw away the petition by Prof Ben Ayade against his election into the Cross River Northern Senatorial District of the state, Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe on Saturday declared that all machinations of the former governor will continue fail.
He told TNN in a telephone interview that just as the former governor’s machinations failed during the February 2023 election and also at the tribunal, even if he decided to approach the appeal court, he would return frustrated.
Jarigbe made history at the poll when he disgraced Ayade for the second time as a sitting governor. The first defeat was when Jarigbe swept the rug off Ayade’s feet while he was still governor, removing Dr Stephen Odey, Ayade’s choice, from seat as senator and taking over the seat.
If that was an indirect blow on Ayade, Jarigbe was to hit him below the belt last February when he defeated him convincingly to retain the seat as senator. Ayade licked his wounds and resorted to the tribunal for some relief.
But on Saturday, the tribunal presided over by Mr Justice Sambo, after a cursory examination of Ayade’s petition said in a judgement that lasted more than five hours, that there was nothing to hold on to, in the petition.
In dismissing the petition, the judge said Ayade, himself a lawyer, could not prove his case. The judge said the evidence tendered by Ayade were not pleaded and noted that in law, there was nothing before the tribunal to look at.
Reacting to the judgement, Jarigbe said defeating Ayade both in the field and at the tribunal was the simplest thing to do. According to him, Ayade performed abysmally as governor and as a senator and therefore deserved the open disgrace he got from the people of Cross River North.
The senator told TNN that from day one, he had known that it would not be a prayer point to defeat Ayade because throughout his four years as senator and eight years as governor, he did nothing for the people to trust him with more power.
He expressed appreciation to the people of his constituency for standing by him and promised to continue to serve them and attract more development projects to the area.