Bayelsa: Supreme Court Rejects Lyon, APC’s Application To Review Judgment

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

The application was set aside for lack of merit.

The erstwhile governor-elect, Mr. Lyon was removed by the apex court on February 13 at the point of rehearsal at the Yenagoa stadium because his deputy Mr. Degi-Eremienyo was roped in a certificate scandal.

However, the ruling did not come as a shock as majority of the people who prayed Mr. Lyon to receive the dismissal in good fate already pre-empted the Supreme Court’s judgment.

In the ruling, 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.

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.

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.

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