The Supreme Court, yesterday declined to reverse its judgment that sacked David Lyon and Degi-Eremieoyo as governor and deputy-governor elect of Bayelsa State.
The apex court in a unanimous decision by a seven-man panel of Justices headed by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta dismissed the two different applications that sought to set aside the judgment it delivered against Lyon and his deputy on February 13.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday, lauded the apex court for upholding the election of Senator Duoye Diri as governor of Bayelsa State.
In the lead decision by Justice Amina Augie, the apex court described the fresh applications that were filed by Lyon, his deputy and the All Progressive Congress (APC) as “highly vexatious, frivolous and gross abuse of the judicial process.”
She held that the applications were aimed at “desecrating the sanctity of the court,” stressing that it was an invitation for the Supreme Court to sit on appeal over its final judgment.
Justice Augie said, “It is clear that the two applications lack merit and constituted an abuse of court process.” She said there was no doubt that the applications were aimed to review a final judgment of the apex court in violation of Order 8 Rule 2 of the Supreme Court Act.
Justice Augie stressed that the use of the mandatory word “Shall” in the said Order 8, was an indication that such application for review of a final judgment of the court was bound to fail.
“The court is not authorized and lacks the jurisdiction to review its judgment,” she held, adding that the applicants failed to either show that there was any clerical error, accidental slip or commission, or that any aspect of the judgment needed to be varied.
She said the sole aim of the applicants was to set-aside “operative and substantive parts of the judgment,” despite the provision of section 235 of the 1999 constitution, as amended, that gave the Supreme Court the final say in every appeal.
“Once this court has finally determined an issue, it is functus-officio. It is final forever, only legislation can alter it. It is final for all ages. No force on earth can get this court to shift its position on Bayelsa matter,” she held.
She said even if the apex court was minded to review its judgment, there was no guarantee that the PDP and its candidates would not also file their own application for a review.
“There must be an end to litigation to ensure certainty in the law. There must be finality to the decision of the court.” Justice Augie held that if the applications were not dismissed, “every disaffected litigant will bring appeals ad-infinitum. This must not be allowed.”
She expressed disappointment that counsel to the applicants, being senior members of the legal profession, encouraged their clients to desecrate the sanctity of the apex court. Consequently, Justice Augue awarded a cost of N10million each against Lyon, Degi-Eremieoyo and APC, to be paid in favour of Governor Diri, his deputy, Lawrence Ewhruojakpo and the PDP.
She ordered that the cost should be personally paid by lawyers to all the applicants.
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