Supreme Court affirms Bayelsa guber verdict as APC, Lyon lose review appeal

…to pay N10m fine

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 Wednesday, 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.

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

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.

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.

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