Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, Chief Justice of Nigeria

The All Progressives Congress has accused the opposition Peoples Democratic Party of intimidating the Supreme Court over the review of its judgment last year on Zamfara, that awarded the PDP candidates all the elective posts that they woefully lost in the election.

The court had penalised the APC over improper conduct of its primaries.

Now the APC is asking the apex court to vary its consequential order. Judgement has been reserved, with the PDP, for the second time, calling on the justices to dismiss the case.

In its reaction, the APC regarded the PDP comment as irresponsible and criminal.

“PDP has unfortunately come to be known for deploying blackmail and intimidation of state institutions as a strategy to circumvent or derail processes and procedures that are at variance with any of its inordinate interests”, said APC publicity secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu.

Read the full statement

The Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) declaration that the Supreme Court has no option than to dismiss the pending application by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to review its judgment on the Zamfara State Governorship election matter amounts to yet another effort by the opposition party to intimidate the Apex Court.

This is criminal and irresponsible for a party that had once ran the country for an uninterrupted period of 16 years. Being voted out of power for maladministration should not make the PDP to seek to bring the country down by taking actions or making statements that are targeted at undermining a critical state institution like the judiciary.

PDP has unfortunately come to be known for deploying blackmail and intimidation of state institutions as a strategy to circumvent or derail processes and procedures that are at variance with any of its inordinate interests.

Unfortunately, they have failed woefully on the Zamfara matter, even as we reiterate that PDP is not a party to our intra-party matter before the Supreme Court.

There is a world of difference between the Supreme Court review sought on the Zamfara matter and the matters that the Supreme Court dismissed regarding Imo and Bayelsa states.

Unlike what happened in Bayelsa and Imo, in Zamfara, the Supreme Court is not being requested to review its decision. Far from it. The unique thing about Zamfara’s case at the Supreme Court is that the APC is not attacking the judgement of their Lordships but only praying that they vary their consequential order for the purpose of justice. That is where the PDP, who not being a party in the matter, is scared as it found itself to have immensely benefitted from our intra-party squabbles, by reaping where they never sowed.

The Supreme Court had earlier affirmed that it has the powers to review its own decisions and that it is not averse to correcting error when that is noticed or when it is brought to its attention.

Recall that while delivering the landmark lead judgment, Chukwudifu Oputa JSC in Adegoke Motors Vs. Adesanya considered the powers of the Supreme Court (as the final Court in the land) to review its earlier decisions and said:

“We are final not because we are infallible; rather we are infallible because we are final. Justices of this Court are human beings, capable of erring. It will certainly be shortsighted arrogance not to accept this obvious truth. It is also true that this Court can do inestimable good through its wise decisions. Similarly, the Court can do incalculable harm through its mistakes. When therefore it appears to learned counsel that any decision of this Court has been given per incuriam, such counsel should have the boldness and courage to ask that such a decision be over-ruled. This Court has the power to overrule itself (and has done so in the past) for it gladly accepts that it is far better to admit an error than to persevere in error”

We call on the Supreme Court to focus on dispensing justice in the case of Zamfara State as well as other matters before it and ignore the irresponsible ranting of the PDP