Bayelsa: Supreme Court Rules On Lyon, APC’s Application For Judgment Review


Lyon was sacked for presenting a running mate with a fake certificate (Photo Courtesy: Mc Ebisco)

The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed an application for review of the judgment that sacked the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state, David Lyon, and his deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

The apex court had, on 13 February, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return presented to Lyon on 21 November, 2020.

A five-man panel of the court, led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, disqualified the deputy governorship candidate of the APC, Degi-Eremienyo, deemed to have presented fake certificates.

Lyon got 352,552 votes to defeat the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Duoye Diri, who polled 143,172 votes.

Based on the judgment, Diri has since been sworn in as the number one citizen of the oil-rich state.

But the APC said that the apex court ought not to have cancelled Lyon’s votes, asking it to set aside the interpretation in its judgment.

The party argued that the Supreme Court acted without jurisdiction and denied it fair hearing when it proceeded to disqualify its governorship candidate.

At the proceeding on Wednesday, Lyon and APC, in their applications argued by Afe Babalola and Wole Olanipekun, asked the court to review and set aside the judgment which voided their participation in the November 16 governorship election.

Babalola added that the Supreme Court had inherent powers to set aside its own decision because the judgment was a nullity on account of denial of fair hearing of his client.

As for Olanipekun, he argued that the apex court erred in law when it invoked section 36 of the Electoral Act to disqualify the APC’s participation in the election when the Federal High Court judgment restored by the Supreme Court did not disqualify the party’s eligibility.

But counsel to the PDP, Tayo Oyetibo, informed the apex court that the application by APC and its governorship candidate were a dangerous invitation to the Supreme Court to violate section 285 of the 1999 constitution, for the court to sit on appeal over its own matter.

He further stated that the apex court was right in disqualifying Lyon as the governor-elect because section 187 of the 1999 constitution is clear and unambiguous to the effect that a governorship candidate who has no deputy candidate is not qualified to contest any governorship election in Nigeria.

After taking arguments from parties in the matter, Justice Amina Augie said the application lacked merit and the decisions of the court were final.

“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,” she said.

Also, she ruled that the applications were frivolous and vexatious, and awarded the cost of N10 million against the applicants to be personally paid by their counsel.

. Bayelsa: Supreme Court Rules On Lyon, APC’s Application For Judgment Review Follow Concise News.

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