APC, Lyon lose Supreme Court review appeal, lawyers to pay N60m cost

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 2:26 pm | Daily News Headlines | 9 Comment(s)

David Lyon: End of the road in reclaiming Bayelsa mandate

David Lyon and the All Progressives Congress have lost their bids to overturn the Supreme Court ruling of 13 February, which sacked Lyon as the duly elected governor of Bayelsa state.

In a ruling today, the court dismissed the applications for review of the judgment, which rendered Lyon’s election invalid because of what the five-man panel of justices attributed to the alleged certificate forgery committed by Lyon’s running mate,Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

According to Justice Amina Augie who read the judgment, the applications lacked merit, adding that the decisions of the court are final, a position that may well foreshadow the outcome of other reviews pending before the apex court.

“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,” Amina Augie said.

She added that the applicants failed to point out errors in the 13 February judgment.

She then pronounced that the judgment is final for all ages and that no court on earth can review it.

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 lawyers of the APC and Mr Lyon are also to pay Governor Douye Diri, his deputy Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and the PDP the same N10 million, making a total of N50million.

The Supreme Court panel that heard the review arguments was composed of seven justices, headed by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta.

The panel gave its judgement after listening to the submissions by lawyers.

Legal luminary Afe Babalola represented Lyon and Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, the deputy governor-elect.

Babalola, a senior advocate of Nigeria, argued that the apex court has the power to set aside its earlier judgment.

He insisted that the application is not for a review of the judgment but to set aside the judgment sacking Mr Lyon who overwhelmingly won the election.

Mr Babalola added that the judgment of the court delivered on February 13, amounts to a denial of fair hearing. He urged the court to reverse its decision.

Chief Wole Olanipekun, another senior advocate, representing the APC asked the apex court to set aside its judgment on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction to have entertained the appeal in the first place.

He explained that the suit was first filed at the Federal High Court as a pre-election matter, which is the foundation of the matter that made the appeal get to the apex court.

Mr Olanipekun, therefore, restated his argument that the apex court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

He added that all humans are fallible so it is not beyond the apex court to make a mistake.

Mr Olanipekun also faulted the interpretation of the judgment of the court by INEC which issued a certificate of return to Senator Douye Diri of the PDP, urging the court to grant the application to set aside its earlier judgment.

Counsel to the PDP, Tayo Oyetibo, also a SAN, argued that the application by David Lyon is an invitation to violate the nation’s constitution.

He added that it is also an invitation to the court to ‘sit in judgment’ over its earlier decision which must not be allowed while urging the court to summarily dismiss the application.

Mr Oyetibo argued that all areas were well considered before the apex court arrived at its decision on February 13, insisting that the court cannot change the operative part of any judgment delivered by the apex court which is the final court in the land.

Citing section 22 of the Supreme Court act, Mr Oyetibo said “the court has wide powers to make any order including the order asking INEC to withdraw the certificate issued to David Lyon. The order made by the court was not out of order.”

He explained that the facts and justice of the case warranted the decision of the court and there is no error in it whatsoever.

He added that if any error is felt, it can only be addressed in a future case.

Mr Oyetibo insisted that the grant of this application will engender judicial stability as people will now wait for a possible review before acting on any judgment of the apex court.

He urged the court to dismiss the application and not to disturb the status quo.

Yunus Ustaz Usman who is representing Governor Douye Diri aligned himself with the submissions of Mr Oyetibo, insisting that the court cannot make any order outside the judgment, especially after a full-blown trial.

He reaffirmed the finality of the court as the highest of the land, urging the court to dismiss the application in the interest of the overall survival of the country.

Chris Uche, counsel to Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo vehemently opposed the application for a review of the judgment of the apex court and urged the court to dismiss the applications filed by Mr Lyon and the APC for totally lacking in merit.

Uche argued that the Supreme court lacks the power to sit on appeal over any judgment delivered by the court.

He added that it is a case of outright abuse of court process, stating that the court must ‘jealously’ guard its judgments otherwise, there will be a floodgate of applications for review which will lead to a bastardization of the judicial process.

He urged the court to resist the dangerous invitation to violate the nation’s constitution.

Present to witness the proceeding are the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole,
Governor Douye Diri and the sacked deputy governor-elect, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

View Comments

  • The supreme Court surprisingly didn’t find anything wrong with Buhari’s fake certificate but found everything wrong with the fake certificate of Bayelsa state deputy governor elect.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Lyon! Lyon, so you went all the way back to review, just to validate your eternal defeat and loss? David Lyon! What a disaster, what a big shame, you finally nailed your own coffin at an additional cost of Ten Million Naira! Anyway, congratulations your prayers were not granted. Given your low level of literacy evidenced by the acceptance speeches and activities, the godfathers would have seriously used you. The end result might have been a long term sentence, for you will hardly know what to do soundly per time. Go and polish your credentials, you are still young. Congratulations for the great deliverance Bayelsans! Lyon was grossly conceptually ill-prepared for this office.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Good insight!!

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Yes, this will reduce all manner of going back to supreme court. I hope the ask ihedioha to pay 500m both for going back to review and the organisation of protests in his state. That will serve him well and he has to pay it personally.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Jasperuour only problem in this world is Buhari but it is stupid way of thinking. We the majority' elected Buhari. He is eminently qualified to contest and be head of state . He is more educated and trained that anyone in your tribe.
    You can hug transformer nearest to you if you are bitter.
    It is final. Buhari is your president and no court on this earth can change that.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Good , the sacked Deputy Governor must be tried for criminal offence . How can one person have four different names on five certificates ??? He must return all salaries and allowances received in previous government appointments !

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • This is a clear case of different strokes for different folks.

    If Bayelsa state governor could lose his job because of certificate forgery, in the same token, Buhari ought to be sacked also.

    I call on the supreme Court justices to vigorously review Buhari's alleged certificate forgery and sack him from office.

    What a situation. I take a stroll. Nonsense.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • I can hardly understand how Nigerian judiciary operates. The tendency to exhibit bias, inconsistencies and outrageous ruling on similar case is troubling, unimpressive and appalling.

    In the run up to the last presidential election, ,Buhari presented a cloned certificate of one Mohammed Buhari and claimed it was his, the supreme Court, even though they know just like Nigerians and the world know Buhari goes by the the name Muhammad Buhari and not Mohammed Buhari, yet the supreme Court cleared Buhari.

    The supreme Court surprisingly didn't find anything wrong with Buhari's fake certificate but found everything wrong with the fake certificate of Bayelsa state deputy governor elect.

    This is a clear case of different strokes for folks.

    I'm convinced that an honest ruling on the presidential election appeal would have been to sack Buhari from office. He deserves it.

    I tremble at supreme court's inconsistencies, the tendency for the Fulanis led supreme Court to be ruling senselessly is a mockery to the judiciary. It's laughable, it's lamentable, it's sickening.

    What a situation. I take a stroll. Nonsense.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • The Cost Order against the Counsels are appropriate for failure to advise the Appellants correctly. The SANs that represented the Appellants failed to understand the cause of action. The matter has nothing to do with Jurisdiction nor vote rather the criminal undertone of the issue. The application made by PDP prevaricated on forgery and on that basis the Supreme Court do have jurisdiction to deal with the matter. The Counsels has failed to critically assess the case before embarking on the review.

    It is not that the Supreme Court cannot review itself. It can review itself if there is reason for that. In this circumstance there is nothing to review as their initial decision was adequate or faultless. Counsels missed the point and pursued irrelevance. The Counsels have mindset on technicalities whilst that was not the case. The Supreme Court only cured the criminal error that was involved - forgery of documents. The case was not in relation to pre-election or post election issue rather criminal aspect of forgery.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*