From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The Senate has administrated oath of allegiance on four new senators as members of ninth Senate following their victory at the December 5 bye-election conducted by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The new senators included Seriake Dickson (PDP-Bayelsa), Cleopas Moses (PDP-Bayelsa), Tokunbo Abiru (APC-Lagos) and Nora Daduut (APC-Plateau)
The oath of allegiance was administered by Clerk of Senate, Dauda Ibrahim El- Ladan, shortly after the commencement of plenary, yesterday.
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan said the ninth Senate, since inauguration, has worked for Nigerians and would continue to work for Nigerians.
He said activities of Senate have been conducted in a bye-partisan manner, noting that the Senate has done fairly well.
Lawan said the Senate would not do anything to jeopardise the progress of government, noting that the interest of Nigerians remained the priority of the National Assembly.
He urged Nigerians to engage in constructive criticism of the National Assembly, while also recognising its central role in democracy.
However, confusion has trailed Cross River North bye-election as Federal High has granted an order stopping the swearing in of Dr. Stephen Odey as the new senator for the district.
Jarigbe Agom Jarighe, member representing Ogoja/Yala federal constituency and Dr. Odey, chairman, Cross River State Universal Education Board, have been locked in a legal battle for months as both of them laid claim to be the authentic winner of the election.
In a suit NO: FCT/HC/BW/M/633/2020 and before Justice O. A. Musa of the High Court of FCT in Abuja Judicial Division, Jarigbe’s counsel, Everestus. U. Chinedum, prayed the court for an order of interim injunction restraining INEC from issuing a certificate of return or swearing in by way of admittance of Odey or any other person in his stead as senator representing the Cross River State north senatorial district, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive motion on notice.
After listening to Everestus U. Chinedum, counsel to the Applicant (Jarigbe), the court granted the order restraining the defendants particularly INEC and Senate from swearing in Dr Stephen Odey and adjourned the case to December 17, 2020 for hearing of motion on notice which is already filed before this court.
In compliance with the Court order, Lawan declined to swear in Dr. Odey as senator.
This development has caused confusion among PDP stalwarts in the state as most of them are worried that the in-fighting would destroy the party completely.