Zamfara: Mike Ozekhome reacts after Supreme Court dismissed APC’s Appeal

The apex court in a four-to-one ruling yesterday refused to set aside its consequential order that made the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) beneficiary of all elective positions in the 2019 general election in Zamfara State. Reacting to the judgment, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, felicitated with the Zamfara State Governor Alhaji Bello Matawalle on his victory which he said was divine and urged him to be a good team leader.

The apex court in a majority ruling just like in earlier rulings held that the Supreme Court cannot review or set aside its judgment delivered in any matter except to correct clerical errors and other issues in line with Order 8 Rule 16 of the Supreme Court.

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The lead judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Okoro reiterated the position of the court that it could not sit on appeal in its own judgment and accordingly dismissed the appeal. Recall that the apex court had declined two previous judgment set aside request involving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) sacked Imo State Governor, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and All Progressives Congress (APC’s) Governor-Elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon. The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State had approached the apex court to set aside its judgment of May 24, 2019 which disqualified all candidates of the APC in the general election in Zamfara State on grounds of not conducting a valid primary for the selection of its candidates for all elective positions in the state.

The APC in the application said the apex court had the power to set aside the consequential order that brought candidates of the PDP into elective offices in Zamfara because the court lacked the jurisdiction to make such an order. The APC in its submissions presented by his lawyer, Chief Robert Clarke, SAN, also argued that the May 24 judgment was a nullity and should be set aside because the order benefited a non-party in the suit, adding that the order disenfranchised the electorates of Zamfara who participated in the 2019 general election.

However, the apex court in its ruling agreed with the objection raised by counsel to the Senator Kabiru Marafa faction, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, that the application ran contrary to the provisions of Order 8 Rule 16 of the court which prohibits the apex court from reviewing or setting aside its own well considered judgment.

The court further held that the application brought by APC was an abuse of court process, incompetent and vexatious, because Order 8 Rule 16 was a clear and unambiguous law that prohibits it from going into a matter already decided.

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