February 26, 2020

Supreme Court stands-down to rule on APC’s application for review of Bayelsa verdict

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Abuja

The Supreme Court has stood down its proceeding to enable it deliver judgement on fresh applications seeking to set-aside its February 13 judgement that sacked David Lyon and Degi-Eremieoyo as governor and deputy-governor elect of Bayelsa state.

A seven-man panel of justices of the apex court headed by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, stood down after it heard the two applications that were filed by Lyon and his deputy, as well as the All Progressive Congress, APC, on Wednesday.

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Lyon and his deputy had through their lawyer, Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, maintained that the Supreme Court has inherent powers to set-aside its own judgement when it constituted a nullity.

Babalola, SAN, contended that the judgement was a nullity as it amounted to a breach of the right of fair hearing of his clients.

“The procedure adopted by this court on February 13 was such that deprived the judgement of the character of a legitimate adjudication”, he argued, saying the previous panel that was headed by Justice Mary Odili failed to consider the issue of cause of action before it disqualified both Lyon and Degi-Eremieoyo.

Likewise, the APC, through its lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, also argued a similar application he filed on February 23 to challenge the judgement he said was entered in error.

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However, all the Respondents, urged the apex court to dismiss the two applications for constituting an abuse of the judicial process.

They argued that granting the applications would set a bad precedent and open the floodgate for frivolous requests for review of past decisions of the apex court.

Aside Governor Douye Diri and his deputy, Lawrence Ewhruojakpo, other Respondents in the matter are the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Vanguard News