Stakeholders in the platform of Grassroots Empowerment and Justice Initiative, have urged voters to come out en mass and exercise their franchise in the Cross River North senatorial bye-elect
This was contained in a statement signed by the National Coordinator of the Initiative, Ebriku John Friday, while speaking on the need for the electorate to know the best candidate who can deliver democratic dividends and meet their aspirations and yearnings.
The statement reads in part: “It is important to call on electorates in Cross River North to understand that they have the constitutional backing and the Electoral Act to exercise their franchise come December 5, 2020, to vote candidate of their choice ahead of the Cross River North Senatorial bye-election.
“We want you from Bekwarra, Obaniliku and Ogoja to come out en mass to vote the candidate of your choice. Please remain behind to defend your vote and don’t have any iota of fear to be intimidated or violence will breakout. The security people are on ground to protect you.
“We also enjoin officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to transparently conduct the election and not allow some evil minded politicians to intimidate and compromise you. We also believe in your integrity and ensure you keep your integrity intact.
“All party representatives are expected to maturely conduct themselves before, during and after the election. This is not a do-or-die affair but for the betterment of Cross River North. No violence will be welcomed and all forms of vote buying will be resisted.”
Meanwhile, the group has expressed believe in Odey emerging winner of the election based on his grassroots approach in politics and carrying the people along shown in his style of administration as Chairman of Cross River State Basic Education Board and his enormous achievements.
The group also in the statement asserted that judgement by the Federal High Court in Calabar on Thursday was landmark by declaring and affirming Stephen Odey as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, where the group also called on the National Judicial Council to investigate the judgment given by the presiding judge in Abuja in favour of Hon Jarigbe Agom as gross abuse of court process, because Hon Agom abandoned a case already on in Calabar at a Federal High Court for another court in Abuja on the same issue.
“Secondly, the National Legal Adviser of the party said the party was not aware of such case as the party was never served with court processes of the case.
“We therefore hail the boldness of the party by declining the judgment and describing it as illegal and inconsequential, saying that Jarigbe was never the candidate of the party.
“We are really disappointed in the judgment given by a judge at an High Court sitting in Abuja knowing well that same case is on in a Federal High Court sitting in Calabar.
“We call on the Nigeria Judicial Council to investigate this abuse of court process and the judgment giving by the court in Abuja. We go with the Court judgment in Calabar,” it further read.
The statement also applauded judgment of the court sitting in Calabar for affirming and upholding Odey as the senatorial candidate of the PDP and setting aside the judgment by the Abuja court.
“The court dismissing the case of Rt Hon Jarigbe Agom, member representing Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives on lack of merit and evidence, saying that “the report of the minority team declaring Hon Jarigbe as winner is hereby rejected on ground that it does not meet the required criteria stipulated by the guidelines of Party Primaries election.
“The Court laid down the long litigation to rest by upholding the name of Dr. Stephen Odey as the authentic candidate of the PDP in the December 5, 2020 elections with a mandate for the 1st respondent, INEC to recognize and publish the name of Stephen Odey as the authentic candidate of the PDP,” it noted