Again, Ayade loses bid to go senate as tribunal affirms Jarigbe’s victory

The former governor disputed results from about 377 polling units in the election.

Senator Jarigbe Jarigbe of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), representing Cross River Northern Senatorial District in the National Assembly, has defeated former Governor Ben Ayade of the All Progressives Congress (APC), at the Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Calabar.

Giving the judgement on Saturday, a three man tribunal of justices, headed by Justice Mohammed Sambo, in a unanimous decision upheld Sen. Jarigbe’s election.

Delivering judgement, Sambo noted that the assertions of irregularities presented to the tribunal by the petitioner were not backed by documentary evidences.

It would be recalled that Ayade had in suit number EPT/CR/SEN/02/2023, approached the court to nullify the Feb. 25, 2023, senatorial election for “being riddled with malpractices and not complying with the electoral act.”

The former governor also disputed results from about 377 polling units in the election.

However, in the over four-hour judgement, the tribunal dismissed the petition, stating that there was no sufficient evidence to invalidate the election.

Speaking to journalists after the judgement, Counsel to Sen. Jarigbe, Mba Ukweni, SAN, said the judgement was a confirmation of the will of the people in the northern senatorial district of Cross River.

According to him, “the petitioner was rejected at the pole and there was no reason to come to the tribunal to act contrary to what the people had decided.

“The tribunal is not meant to upset the will of the people. It is to affirm what the people had decided in the field and that was exactly what happened today,” he said.

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