A coalition of civil societies has warned the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to immediately comply with the Supreme Court judgment, declaring Jarigbe Agom as the Senator of the Cross River North Senatorial District.

The civil societies: Leadership and Accountability Initiative, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, the Social Accountability and Environmental Sustainability Initiative, and the Free Nigeria Coalition; in a letter to Lawan said they were surprised that Lawan has refused to comply with a valid court order and refused to swear in Jarigbe.

The letter to the Senate President, which was obtained by SaharaReporters, was signed by Henry Shield from the LAI, Ariyo-Dare Atoye from the CDNDC, Nwogwugwu Bright from the SAESI and Alex Obisesan from the FNI.  

The coalition said, “The undersigned coalition of civil society organisations is deeply worried about your indifference or refusal to swear in Hon Jarigbe Agom as the duly elected senator by the people of the Cross River North Senatorial District.

“The verdict of the Supreme Court on February 25, 2021, has upheld the Court of Appeal’s judgment that affirmed Hon Jarigbe as the candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party who was duly elected at the Senate By-Election which held on December 5, 2020.

“We are also aware that the Independent National Electoral Commission has since complied with this court decision and has issued a new Certificate of Return to Hon Jarigbe, Senator-elect for the Cross River North Senatorial District.

“As the chairman of the National Assembly and President of the Senate, we the members of the civil society do not expect you to hesitate to comply with a valid court pronouncement or act in a manner that undermines the judiciary and our fledgling democracy.

“As the chairman of the apex law-making institution in Nigeria, we do not expect you to take a different course of action from that of INEC which has complied fully. We expect you to put a stop to the illegality of allowing Stephen Odey to attend plenary against the letters of the Rule of Law.”

INEC had in compliance with the court judgment issued a Certificate of Return to Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, which automatically invalidates the Certificate of Return earlier issued to Odey after the by-election.

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