JUST IN: Supreme Court Drops Hammer on Lyon, APC, Dismisses Application for Judgement Review

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Nigeria, Supreme Court, Application, Judgement review, APC, PDP, Afe Babalola

*Awards N10 million Cost against applicants’ Counsel

Nigeria’s Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed All Progressives Congress’ (APC) application for the review of its judgment which sacked the governorship candidate of the party in Bayelsa state, David Lyon and his deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

Justice Amina Augie, who read the judgment, said the application lacked merit, adding that the decisions of the court are final.

She said the applicants failed to point out errors in the earlier judgement, restating that the judgment was final for all ages, and no court on earth can review it.

“There must be an end to litigation even if we review this judgment, every disaffected litigant will bring similar applications and the finality of Supreme Court judgments will be lost.”

She dropped the court’s hammer on the applicants, saying their applications were frivolous and vexatious, and awarded the cost of N10 million against the applicants to be personally paid by their counsel.

The Court, presided by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta and assisted by six other judges, heard the application of All Progressive Alliance (APC) for the review of its judgment which sacked the governorship candidate of the party in Bayelsa State, David Lyon and his deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

APC urged the court to revere the judgment which disqualified its two candidates who have earlier been announced by the country’s electoral umpire, INEC, and sacked them from the Bayelsa Government House.

Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, who represented Mr Lyon and Degi-Eremienyo, argued that the apex court was vested with the power to set aside its earlier judgment on the matter, insisting that his clients’ application was not for a review of the judgment but to set aside the judgment that sacked Mr Lyon and his deputy who overwhelmingly won the election. He also contended that the judgment of the court delivered on February 13, amounts to a denial of fair hearing.

Standing for the APC was Wole Olanipekun, SAN, who urged the court to set aside the same judgment on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction to have entertained the appeal in the first instance because the suit was first filed at the Federal High Court as a pre-election matter.

Mr Olanipekun said INEC misconstrued the judgment of the court by issuing a certificate of return to Senator Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), urging the court to grant the application to set aside its earlier judgment.

But Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, who stood for PDP argued that David Lyon and APC’s application would only amount to a violation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because it would mean to ‘sit in judgment’ over an earlier judgement.

While urging the court to summarily dismiss the application, Mr Oyetoyibo said there was nothing in the application that the court had no already considered in its earlier judgement, saying section 22 of the Supreme Court Act, has a provision that states categorically that “the court has wide powers to make any order including the order asking INEC to withdraw the certificate issued to David Lyon. The order made by the court was not out of order.”

He opined that to grant Lyon and APC’s application application will engender judicial stability as people will now wait for a possible review before acting on any judgment of the apex court, adding that even if there was an error of any sort, it should be addressed in any future case.

Governor Douye Diri’s counsel, Yunus Ustaz Usman, SAN adopted the positions of Oyetibo, insisting that the court cannot make any order outside the judgment, especially after a full-blown trial.

 

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