SUPREME COURT VERDICT ON IHEDIOHA IRREVERSIBLE – Agbakoba, others

SUPREME COURT VERDICT ON IHEDIOHA IRREVERSIBLE - Agbakoba, others

By The World Satellite.

 

SENIOR lawyers had said the Supreme Court cannot reverse its judgment on the Imo State governorship election.

It could be recalled that the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the immediate swearing-in of Senator Hope Uzodinma, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the March 9 election. He replaced Chief Emeka Ihedioha of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who was in office for seven months.

Consequently, PDP in a statement accused the Justices of compromise and demanded a review of the judgment.

However, Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), including Chief Ifedayo Adedipe, Dr Olisa Agbakoba, Mr Ahmed Raji, Babatunde Fashanu and Dr Paul Ananaba, said the decision was irreversible.

Adedipe who believes the PDP was “talking politics”, said that the party could not be making “a serious call”.

“The Supreme Court is the final court of the land. Their decisions can only be changed by legislation. The provisions in the Supreme Court Act for a review of judgment has to do with correcting clerical mistakes. Besides that, the court cannot revisit any decision it has rendered. The PDP’s call, with profound respect, is mischievous,” he said.

Adedipe added that such a call from a major political party “is unfortunate”.

For Agbakoba, the demand is unrealistic saying: “The demand is not feasible as it is a final judgment and not amenable to review.”

Raji said while the Supreme Court rules allow for a review in a very limited way, there are other factors to be considered.

“If their case can be accommodated under the rules and the decided authorities on the point, why not? But the greatest challenge will be the 60-day time-limit. The position of the court is that after 60 days from the date of the judgment of the Court of Appeal in an election petition, the Supreme Court ceases to have jurisdiction. That is the hurdle!” Raji exlained.

On his own, Fashanu noted that the Supreme Court was ‘functus officio, in the matter and cannot revisit the case.

“A court can only revisit a case in which it has delivered judgment if the judgment is a nullity e.g. if the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case or if the judgment was obtained by fraud. Nothing like that is being alleged here. So, let the loser wait for another election,” he advised.

While noting that the Supreme Court decision was final Dr Ananaba added that every citizen has a right to request for a judgment to be reviewed and that it is for the Supreme Court to decide whether or not to grant the request.

According to him, there have been previous applications in the past asking the court to review its judgment. “An aggrieved person can make such a request. It is left for the Supreme Court to grant it or not,” he said.

Asked if an apex court can reverse itself, he said: “Yes, why not? But it is only the Supreme Court that can review its judgment. “The Supreme Court in many cases has departed from its previous judgment but most times from another appeal. Because they are human, they can change their minds on a particular principle of thought. “But I don’t know if they would finally want to review in this case. They may agree or may not agree. But by and large, their decision is final,” Ananaba said.

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