Bayelsa: S/Court dismisses APC, Lyon’s application, orders lawyers to pay N60m

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed.
  • Sagay advocates N500m fine for lawyer who files review on Buhari’s poll
  • PDP fine-tunes position on review of presidential poll today

The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the application by the All Progressives Congress (APC) seeking a review of its February 13 judgement which removed its candidate, David Lyon and his deputy Biobarakuma Degi Eremionyo.

In the lead judgement read by Justice Amina Augie, the apex court ordered lawyers to the APC and Lyon, Afe Babalola and Wole Olanipekun, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) to pay the PDP, Governor Duoye Diri, his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo the sum of N10m each making it N60m in total.

In a unanimous judgment by the seven-member panel led by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, the apex court held that under Order 8 Rule 16 of the Supreme Court Rules, the application lacked merit and constituted an abuse of court process as it was not brought to correct clerical errors, accidental slips, or to vary any part as contained in the rules.

“With tears in my eyes, I feel sad that senior counsel in this case would ever bring this kind of frivolous applications during my life time. I cannot believe this.

“There must be an end to litigation to ensure certainty in the law. The decision of the Supreme Court is final for all ages,” she said.

Earlier, Olanipekun had argued that the judgement of the Federal High Court which disqualified the deputy governorship candidate of the APC, Degi Eremionyo and upheld by the Supreme Court, did not make a consequential order on the governorship candidate and the swearing-in of PDP’s Duoye Diri.

But in their replies, Tayo Oyetibo, Yunus Ustaz Usman and Chris Uche, all SANs, for Governor Diri and PDP, asked the court to dismiss the application for being an abuse of court process. They submitted that the court cannot review itself after a full trial except on grounds of fraud or clerical errors.

Reacting, former governor of the state, Seriake Dickson said the verdict has vindicated his stand that the APC did not win the governorship election of November 16, 2019 despite the military intervention and killings. He said God used the apex court to save the state from multiple proxies controlling the state and retrogression from the gains his administration accomplished.

Sagay advocates N500m fine for lawyer who files review on Buhari

Speaking on the dismissal, a constitutional lawyer and Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay, said the decision of the apex court on APC’s application was not surprising.

In an interview with one of our reporters, Sagay described the move by the PDP to seek a review of the Presidential Election as “juvenile” suggesting that any lawyer who files such a review before the court should be fined N500m for gross misconduct.

However, he insisted that the apex court grossly erred by turning itself to the electorate in the case of Bayelsa and Zamfara.

“I am going to suggest to the Supreme Court that if any lawyer files that type of thing for review, that lawyer should be given a personal fine, not the party, not PDP.

“The lawyer who filed it should be given a personal fine of between N50m to N100m. In fact that’s even too small, make it N500m for gross misconduct and irresponsibility so that he should be driven out of the profession completely because such a lawyer is unfit to practice law,” he said.

PDP fine-tunes position on review of presidential poll today

Meanwhile, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, told Daily Trust yesterday in Abuja, that the party would fine-tune its position on the review of the judgement of the apex court on the presidential election during its  National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting today in Abuja.

Meanwhile, the APC has kept mute on the final decision of the Supreme Court.

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