Bayelsa Gov’ship: Supreme Court Rejects Request for Review…Awards N60m Cost Against Lawyers

Bayelsa Gov’ship: Supreme Court Rejects Request for Review…Awards N60m Cost Against Lawyers

The Supreme Court today re-affirmed its earlier judgment which disqualified the All Progressives Congress (APC) deputy governorship candidate Senator Degi-Eremienyo on the account of false certificates by dismissing an application for the review of the verdict on the Bayelsa State governorship election. The apex court had on Thursday, February 13, 2020, sacked the APC’s candidate

The Supreme Court today re-affirmed its earlier judgment which disqualified the All Progressives Congress (APC) deputy governorship candidate Senator Degi-Eremienyo on the account of false certificates by dismissing an application for the review of the verdict on the Bayelsa State governorship election.

The apex court had on Thursday, February 13, 2020, sacked the APC’s candidate David Lyon and his deputy governor-elect, less than 24 hours to the appointed swearing in ceremony.

The Court sacked Lyon for contesting the election on a joint ticket with Degi-Eremienyo, whom it said presented an invalid certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Mr. David Lyon was represented by Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), while the APC was represented by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN).

The Peoples Democratic Party, which was the beneficiary of the February 13 verdict, and its candidates who were later declared the winner of the poll in the said verdict, were represented by Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) while Governor Duoye Diri was represented by Yunus Usman (SAN), and the deputy governor, Lawrence Ewhruojakpo, was represented by Chris Uche (SAN).

Mr. David Lyon was represented by Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), while the APC was represented by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN).

The Supreme Court in its judgement said, “No force on earth can force the court to change its decision”.

Reading the lead judgement, Justice Amina Augie said that “The court shall not review any judgement once given and delivered by it.According to her, “a judgement or order shall not be varied when the correct ruling presents what the court decided.

“Having considered the prayers sought vis-a-vis the positions of the law and the arguments and submissions made by all the parties, it is clear that the two applications lack merit and constitute an abuse of court process.

“Howsoever the prayers sought are crafted, there is no question whatsoever that the two sets of applicants are asking to review its judgment delivered on the 13th of February 2020 in appeal number SC/1/2020.

“This court is not authorised and lacks jurisdiction to review its judgment except on the circumstances spelt out in order 8 rule 16 of the rules of this court.

“It is settled that the decision of this court is final”, she said, “This is final court and its decisions are final for all ages.” According to her, it is only legislation that can alter the decision of the apex court once a matter has been fully heard and an order made.

“The two applications brought before us today lacked merit and constituted an abuse of this court and they are liable to dismissal and are hereby dismissed,” the court held.

Justice Augie with tears in her eyes, said she regretted that ‘very senior’ lawyers were responsible for filing the applications.The apex court awarded the costs of N10 million to be personally paid by Mr Lyon’s lawyer, Afe Babalola, and APC’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun.

It also ordered that each of the lawyers must pay the N10 million to each of the three respondents – the PDP, Governor Diri, and the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Lawrence Ewhruojakpo.

Ayo Aluko-Olokun
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