Zamfara Election: Supreme Court Reserves Judgement On APC’s Application

Supreme Court Strikes Out APC's Appeal On Exclusion From Rivers Elections

 

Supreme Court has reserved judgment in hearing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) application seeking the review of its judgement on the Zamfara election.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed who led a five-man panel announced that the judgment date will be communicated to all the parties.

The Supreme Court had on July 22, 2019, struck out the APC’s application asking the Apex Court to review its judgement on the governorship election.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Begins Hearing Of APC’s Application On Zamfara Election

In a unanimous ruling by a five-man panel of justices led by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, the apex court said the application was incompetent and lacked merit.

The panel added that the application should not have been brought before it in the first place.

Reacting to the ruling, the lead counsel to the appellant, Robert Clarke, said the decision of the court was based on technicalities, stressing that the merits of his application were not looked into.

He added that he would tighten the loose ends that the judgement pointed out and submit his application again.

 

Imo Election: PDP Accuses Supreme Court Of Endorsing Electoral Fraud

PDP Hails Supreme Court Ruling On Zamfara Election

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the verdict of the Supreme Court on the review of its judgment on the Imo state governorship election.

It faulted the judgement of the apex court in a statement on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.

The court had dismissed the application filed by the PDP candidate, Emeka Ihedioha, seeking a review of its judgement which removed him from office after about 10 months.

Ihedioha faulted the declaration of Hope Uzodinma as the Imo State governor and asked the court to return him back into office.

But the application was dismissed in a majority judgement of a seven-man panel of judges led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

Six of the judges on the panel agreed with the apex court’s verdict while Justice Chima Nweze gave a dissenting judgment, stressing that the decision ought to be reviewed.

 

Electoral Fraud

In its reaction, the PDP described the judgement as “a disconcerting endorsement of electoral fraud,” saying it has placed a huge burden on the court and the justices.

It, however, noted that Justice Nweze’s judgment presented a glimpse of hope for the nation’s judiciary.

The statement said, “Our party abides completely by every word of the judgment of Justice Nweze as treated facts, which are truly sacred.

“Justice Nweze’s pronouncement, which went straight into the substance of our application represents a universal view about the travesty of justice that occurred in the Imo state governorship election judgment.

“It is indeed unfortunate that the Supreme Court had the wholesome opportunity to redeem itself and correct its errors but chose to hide behind technicality to justify and endorse an electoral fraud.”

According to the opposition party, Nigerians expected the Supreme Court correct the errors purportedly made earlier and handed over victory to the supposed rightful winner.

It alleged that the court failed to summon the courage to affirm its infallibility but upheld and legalise the writing of election results by individual contestants against the will of the people as expressed at the poll.

The PDP called on all election stakeholders to rally to create remedies for what it described as a pathetic situation before the nation’s entire electoral process became vanquished.

“This judgment will continue to haunt the Supreme Court. It has created a burden of precedence and fallibility on the court.

“More distressing is the fact that the judgment has heavily detracted from the confidence Nigerians and the international community reposed on the Supreme Court and our entire jurisprudence,” the statement added.

Let’s Develop Imo Together, Uzodinma Tells Opposition After Supreme Court Verdict

Imo APC Faction Expels Hope Uzodinma
A file photo of Governor Hope Uzodinma.

 

 

The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has called on members of the opposition party in the state to join the movement to make the state better.

He made the call on Tuesday in an interview with reporters in Owerri, the Imo State capital in south-east Nigeria.

The governor’s remark was in reaction to the verdict of the Supreme Court on the application to review its judgement on the March 9, 2019 governorship election in the state.

In the suit, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Emeka Ihedioha asked the court to re-examine its judgement which removed him from office after about 10 months.

Ihedioha faulted the declaration of Uzodinma as the Imo State governor and asked the court to return him back into office.

The application was, however, dismissed in a majority judgement of a seven-man panel of judges led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

Six of the judges on the panel agreed with the apex court’s verdict while Justice Chima Nweze gave a dissenting judgment, stressing that the decision ought to be reviewed.

 

Political Evangelism

Justice Nweze held that the court has the power to overrule itself in a situation where such a judgment was not seen to have met the justice of the case.

He said Uzodinma misled the court in arriving at the judgment which removed Ihedioha from office, saying there was no evidence that the governor satisfied the required spread to have been declared the winner of the election.

The judge informed his colleagues on the panel that the judgment upholding Uzodinma’s victory in the election would continue to haunt Nigeria’s electoral jurisprudence.

Moments after the judgement, Uzodinma said the verdict reflected the true feelings of the people of Imo state who voted him into office.

He also commended the judiciary for standing by the truth and promised that his administration would continue to deliver good governance and prosperity to the people of the state.

Governor Uzodinma called on his political opponents to close ranks and join him in developing the state in the interest of the people.

He added that as the only state in the South East with the All Progressives Congress (APC) in power, he would embark on political evangelism to ensure the party wins more states in the region.

Oshiomhole Lauds Supreme Court Verdict Dismissing Ihedioha’s Application

APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, addressing a press conference in Abuja on February 13, 2020.

 

 

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has commended the judgement of the Supreme Court on the Imo State governorship election.

Mr Oshiomhole said the judgement of the apex court has affirmed that the choice of the people of Imo State has been respected.

He spoke to reporters on Tuesday moments after the Supreme Court dismissed the application of Mr Emeka Ihedioha asking the court to review its judgement which sacked him as the governor of Imo State.

Ihedioha had faulted the declaration of Uzodinma as the Imo State governor and asked the court to return him back into office.

The application was, however, dismissed in a majority judgement of a seven-man panel of judges led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

Six of the judges on the panel agreed with the apex court’s verdict while Justice Chima Nweze gave a dissenting judgment, stressing that the decision ought to be reviewed.

Justice Nweze held that the court has the power to overrule itself in a situation where such a judgment was not seen to have met the justice of the case.

He said Uzodinma misled the court in arriving at the judgment which removed Ihedioha from office, saying there was no evidence that the governor satisfied the required spread to have been declared the winner of the election.

The judge informed his colleagues on the panel that the judgment upholding Uzodinma’s victory in the election would continue to haunt Nigeria’s electoral jurisprudence.

Also reacting, Governor Uzodinma said the verdict reflected the true feelings of the people of Imo state who voted him into office.

He also commended the judiciary for standing by the truth and promised that his administration would continue to deliver good governance and prosperity to the people of the state.

Governor Uzodinma called on his political opponents to close ranks and join him in developing the state in the interest of the people.

He added that as the only state in the South East with the All Progressives Congress (APC) in power, he would embark on political evangelism to ensure the party wins more states in the region.

Ihedioha Loses Bid To Reclaim Imo Governorship Seat

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application filed by Mr Emeka Ihedioha, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Imo State governorship election.

In the suit, Mr Ihedioha asked the apex court to review its judgement which sacked him as the governor of Imo State.

The suit was dismissed on Tuesday in a majority judgement of a seven-man panel of judges led by Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

Six of the judges on the panel agreed with the apex court’s verdict while Justice Chima Nweze gave a dissenting judgment, stressing that the decision ought to be reviewed.

Justice Nweze held that the court has the power to overrule itself in a situation where such a judgment was not seen to have met the justice of the case.

He added that the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, misled the court in arriving at the judgment which removed Ihedioha from office after about 10 months.

READ ALSO: Court Dismisses Suit Filed By Boko Haram’s Ex-Spokesman

According to the judge, there is no evidence that Governor Uzodinma satisfied the required spread to have been declared the winner of the election.

He, therefore, told other judges on the panel that the judgment upholding Uzodinma’s victory in the March 9, 2019 poll would continue to haunt the nation’s electoral jurisprudence.

INEC had declared Mr Ihedioha as the winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Imo State on the ground that he won the majority of lawful votes cast at the governorship poll.

Meanwhile the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, during appeals filed by Senator Uzodinma, gave a concurrent decision, upheld Ihedioha’s election and dismissed Uzodinma’s petition on grounds that he did not prove his allegations against the election of Ihedioha.

But the apex court held otherwise and sacked Mr Ihedioha on the 14th of January.

The apex court in its judgment disagreed with the decisions of the appeal court on the grounds that they erred in law when they excluded votes from 388 polling units from the total scores at the poll.

UPDATES: Hearing Of Ihedioha’s Application At The Supreme Court

A crowd of lawyers, politicians, and others gather at the Supreme Court in Abuja on January 14, 2020. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Supreme Court is hearing the application filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, over the January 14, 2020 judgment which sacked him as the Governor of Imo State.

Mr. Ihedioha and the PDP, in their applications, claim that the judgment of the apex court which installed Senator Hope Uzodinma as the Governor of Imo State was obtained by fraud.

They are therefore praying the seven-man panel of the apex court to review and set aside the judgment.

The panel, headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammed, is currently hearing the application.

Lawyer to Mr. Ihedioha, Chief Kanu Agabi, in his argument, claims that fraud is evident in the judgment, as the appellant, Hope Uzodinma, claimed he was excluded from 388 polling units but tendered results from only 366 polling units

He adds that with the addition of votes from 388 polling units in favour of Senator Uzodinma exceeds the total number of accredited voters by 129,000 votes.

Countering the argument, Lawyer to Senator Hope Uzodinma says the application to revisit, review or set aside the judgment of the court is an incompetent one lacking in merit.

He argues further that the apex court lacks the jurisdiction to sit on appeal over any judgment delivered by the court except where cases of typographical errors or slips are noticed in the said judgment are established and in this case, no such errors have been established.

Mr Damian Dodo adds that the appellant approached the apex court in the face of compelling evidence that Senator Hope Uzodinma won the election, and therefore, has asked the court to dismiss the application.

Supreme Court has stood down Emeka Ihedioha’s application after listening to arguments from all the parties.

The apex court will deliver judgment by 3pm later today.

The judges resume to give judgement and Justice Olukayode Ariwoola is delivering judgment on Ihedioha’s application.

He says there is no constitutional provision empowering the apex court to sit on appeal over its own judgment, so the court does not have the competence to review its own judgment.

Justice Ariwoola states that the finality of the Supreme Court is entrenched in the constitution so the inherent powers of the court does not allow it to review or set aside its own judgment.

“The justices of the court are fallible but the judgment of the court is infallible to ask us to review the judgment will bring the court to disrepute.

The Supreme Court has dismissed Ihedioha’s application for review.

Six out of the seven judges upheld the earlier judgement, but a dissenting judgment by Justice Chima Nweze who believes the judgment ought to be reviewed.

He says the court has the power to overrule itself if such a judgment is not seen to have met the justice of the case.

He adds that Uzodinma misled the court in arriving at the judgment and that there is no evidence that he satisfied the required spread to have been declared the winner of the election.

Justice Nweze says this judgment will continue to haunt the nation’s electoral jurisprudence.

He set aside the judgment of January 14 and ordered Uzodinma to return the certificate of return issued to him as he affirms the election of Mr Ihedioha as the duly elected Governor of Imo state.

Imo Election: Supreme Court Set To Hear Ihedioha’s Application

Supreme Court Strikes Out APC's Appeal On Exclusion From Rivers Elections

 

The Supreme Court is set to hear an application filed by Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), asking it to review its judgement on the Imo governorship that declared Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the March 9, 2020 election.

This comes a day after the top court adjourned the matter due to an application filed by Kanu Agabi, who is Ihedioha’s lead counsel.

Agabi, SAN, told the court that he had just been served with some processes by Governor Hope Uzodinma and needs time to respond.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Adjourns Hearing On Imo Verdict Again

Mr Ihedioha and the PDP had approached the Supreme Court after it on January 14 nullified his victory and declared Mr Uzodinma as the winner of the election.

Mr Ihedioha had been declared the winner of the election the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and had served as governor for months before the court ousted him.

Supreme Court Adjourns Hearing On Imo Verdict Again

A police truck is stationed at the entrance of Supreme Court of Nigeria in Abuja during the review of Bayelsa APC's governorship candidate David Lyon over the Bayelsa Election. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV
A police truck is stationed at the entrance of Supreme Court of Nigeria in Abuja during the review of Bayelsa APC’s governorship candidate David Lyon over the Bayelsa Election. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

The Supreme Court has adjourned till tomorrow, March 3, its hearing of the application filed by the Peoples Democratic Party’s Candidate in Imo State.

Mr. Emeka Ihedioha is asking the apex court to set aside its judgment of January 14, which sacked him as Governor of Imo State.

The top court adjourned the hearing due to an application filed by Kanu Agabi, who is Ihedioha’s lead counsel.

Agabi, SAN, told the court that he had just been served with some processes by Governor Hope Uzodinma and needs time to respond.

This is the second time the seven-man panel of the Supreme Court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, is adjourning the matter. It first adjourned the hearing on February 18 till today, March 2.

Bayelsa Election: Supreme Court Judgement Is The Hand Of God, Says PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to the Supreme Court judgment that sacked the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state, David Lyon and his deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

PDP National Vice Chairman (South-South), Emmanuel Ogidi, said the February 13 verdict that declared its candidate, Duoye Diri the winner of the election is the handiwork of God.

Speaking on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Ogidi said: “It is the hand of God. Everything we do is the hand of God because you are holding the power on behalf of God.

“The position of the governor of a state has the power of life and death because once a judge passes judgment, it is the governor that will sign. Yes, we as politicians we play everything, we do everything by the rules. We go for elections; we go for elections, but it is God that decides who will win.”

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Dismisses Lyon And APC’s Application For Lacking In Merit

When asked if it was God that rejected the APC and ordained his party, the PDP chieftain neither spoke for or against the question.

PDP National Vice Chairman (South South), Emmanuel Ogidi

He simply replied saying: “I just said God gave us victory, I would like to stop there.”

Ogidi’s comments come shortly after the Apex Court on Wednesday dismissed an application for a review of the February 13 judgment.

In her ruling today, Justice Amina Augie said the application lacked merit and the decisions of the court are final.

She added that the applicants failed to point out errors, stating that the judgment is final for all ages.

The apex court judge said the judgment is final in the ‘real sense’ and no court on earth can review the judgment.

“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.”

Supreme Court Dismisses Lyon And APC’s Application For Lacking In Merit

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application for review of the judgment which sacked the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state, David Lyon and his deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

Mr Lyon was sacked by the apex court on February 13, on grounds that his deputy, submitted forged certificates to INEC.

The court ruled that Mr Degi-Eremienyo’s disqualification had affected the joint ticket with which he and the governorship candidate, Lyon, ran for and won on November 16, 2019.

At the proceeding on Wednesday, Mr Lyon and APC in their applications argued by Afe Babalola and Mr Wole Olanipekun asked the court to review and set aside the judgment which voided their participation in the November 16 governorship election.

READ ALSO: Court Sentences Olisa Metuh To Seven Years In Prison After Four-Year Trial

Mr Babalola added that the Supreme Court has inherent powers to set aside its own decision because the judgment was a nullity on account of denial of fair hearing of his client.

Meanwhile, Mr Olanipekun, on his part, argued that the apex court erred in law when it invoked section 36 of the Electoral Act to disqualify the APC’s participation in the election when the Federal High Court judgment restored by the Supreme Court did not disqualify the party’s eligibility.

However, counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Tayo Oyetibo, informed the apex court that the application by APC and its governorship candidate were a dangerous invitation to the Supreme Court to violate section 285 of the 1999 constitution, for the court to sit on appeal over its own matter.

He further stated that the apex court was right in disqualifying Lyon as the governor-elect because section 187 of the 1999 constitution is clear and unambiguous to the effect that a governorship candidate who has no deputy candidate is not qualified to contest any governorship election in Nigeria.

After taking arguments from parties in the matter, Justice Amina Augie who read the judgment said the application lacked merit and the decisions of the court are final.

She added that the applicants failed to point out errors, stating that the judgment is final for all ages.

The apex court judge said the judgment is final in the ‘real sense’ and no court on earth can review the judgment.

“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 added that the applications are frivolous and vexatious, and awarded the cost of N10 million against the applicants to be personally paid by their counsel.

Justice Augie added that the counsels of the APC and Mr Lyon are to each pay Governor Douye Diri, his deputy Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and the PDP the same N10 million.

Supreme Court Set To Deliver Judgment On APC’s Application For Review

 

The Supreme Court is set to deliver judgment on the application for review filed by the sacked Bayelsa governor-elect, Mr David Lyon and the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Mr Lyon and APC in their applications argued by Afe Babalola SAN and Mr Wole Olanipekun SAN, prayed the court to review and set aside the judgment of February 13 which voided their participation in the November 16 governorship election.

Mr Babalola had in his submissions said that the Supreme Court has inherent powers to set aside its own decision because the judgment which voided the election of his client was a nullity on account of denial of fair hearing of his client.

READ ALSO: UPDATES: Supreme Court Hears Application For Review Of Judgment Sacking Lyon

Mr Olanipekun on his part argued that the apex court erred in law when it invoked section 36 of the Electoral Act to disqualify the APC’s participation in the election when the Federal High Court judgment restored by the Supreme Court did not disqualify the party’s eligibility.

Counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tayo Oyetibo, however, informed the apex court that the application by APC and its governorship candidate were a dangerous invitation to the Supreme Court to violate section 285 of the 1999 constitution, for the court to sit on appeal over its own matter.

He further stated that the apex court was right in disqualifying Lyon as the governor-elect because section 187 of the 1999 constitution is clear and unambiguous to the effect that a governorship candidate who has no deputy candidate is not qualified to contest any governorship election in Nigeria.

After taking arguments from parties in the matter, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta announced the stand-down of the matter, adding that the panel would reconvene soon for its decision in the matter.

UPDATES: Supreme Court Hears Application For Review Of Judgment Sacking Lyon

A crowd of lawyers, politicians, and others gather at the Supreme Court in Abuja on January 14, 2020. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Supreme Court is currently hearing the application for review of the judgment which sacked the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state, David Lyon and his deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

The APC is seeking a reversal of the judgment which disqualified its candidate David Lyon.

Representing Mr Lyon and Degi-Eremienyo is Afe Babalola, who argued that the apex court has the power to set aside its earlier judgment.

He insisted that the application is not for a review of the judgment but to set aside the judgment sacking Mr Lyon who overwhelmingly won the election.

Mr Babalola added that the judgment of the court delivered on February 13, amounts to a denial of fair hearing.

READ ALSO: Court Sentences Olisa Metuh To Seven Years In Prison After Four-Year Trial

Justice Sylvester Ngwuta is presiding and is being assisted by six other judges.

In his final submission, Mr Babalola urged the court to reverse its decision.

Also, Wole Olanipekun representing the APC is asking the apex court to set aside its February 13, 2020 judgment on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction to have entertained the appeal in the first place.

He explained that the suit was first filed at the Federal High Court as a pre-election matter, which is the foundation of the matter that made the appeal get to the apex court.

Mr Olanipekun, therefore, restated his argument that the apex court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

He added that all humans are fallible so it is not beyond the apex court to make a mistake.

Mr Olanipekun also faulted the interpretation of the judgment of the court by INEC which issued a certificate of return to Senator Douye Diri of the PDP, urging the court to grant the application to set aside its earlier judgment.

Counsel to the PDP, Tayo Oyetibo argued that the application by David Lyon is an invitation to violate the nation’s constitution.

He added that it is also an invitation to the court to ‘sit in judgment’ over its earlier decision which must not be allowed while urging the court to summarily dismiss the application.

Mr Oyetoyibo argued that areas were well considered before the apex court arrived at its decision on February 13, insisting that the court cannot change the operative part of any judgment delivered by the apex court which is the final court in the land.

Citing section 22 of the Supreme Court act, Mr Oyetoyibo said “the court has wild 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 explained that the facts and justice of the case warranted the decision of the court and there is no error in it whatsoever.

He added that if any error is felt, it can only be addressed in a future case.

Mr Oyetibo insisted that the grant of this application will engender judicial stability as people will now wait for a possible review before acting on any judgment of the apex court.

He urged the court to dismiss the application and not to disturb the status quo.

Yunus Ustaz Usman who is representing Governor Douye Diri aligned himself with the submissions of Mr Oyetibo, insisting that the court cannot make any order outside the judgment, especially after a full-blown trial.

He reaffirmed the finality of the court as the highest of the land, urging the court to dismiss the application in the interest of the overall survival of the country.

Counsel to Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo vehemently opposed the application for a review of the judgment of the apex court and urged the court to dismiss the applications filed by Mr Lyon and the APC for totally lacking in merit.

Chris Uche who is representing Mr Ewhrudjakpo argued that the Supreme court lacks the power to sit on appeal over any judgment delivered by the court.

He added that it is a case of outright abuse of court process, stating that the court must ‘jealously’ guard its judgments otherwise, there will be a floodgate of applications for review which will lead to a bastardization of the judicial process.

He urged the court to resist the dangerous invitation to violate the nation’s constitution.

Present to witness the proceeding is the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole.

Also in the court is the incumbent governor of the state, Senator Douye Diri and the sacked deputy governor-elect, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

The court has risen, to resume later to deliver judgment.

Court resumes session as Justice Amina Augie is reading the judgment.

The apex court has dismissed the application, saying it is lacking in merit.

Justice Augie added that the decisions of the court are final.

She added that the applicants failed to point out errors, stating that the judgment is final for all ages.

The apex court judge said the judgment is final in the ‘real sense’ and no court on earth can review the judgment.

She added that the applications are frivolous and vexatious, and awarded the cost of N10 million against the applicants to be personally paid by their counsel.