2019 Election: Supreme Court dismisses APC’s request to review judgment

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The Supreme Court in a four to one split ruling on Friday dismissed a request to review its judgment filed by the Zamfara All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 general elections.

The apex court refused to set aside its consequential order that made the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) beneficiary of all elective positions in the 2019 general elections in Zamfara.

The judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Okoro reiterated the position of the court that it cannot sit on an appeal on its own judgment and accordingly dismissed the appeal.

In a majority ruling, it 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.

The court accordingly slammed a cost of N2 million against the applicant in favour of Senator Kabiru Marafa and the first 141 respondents in the suit.

However, Justice C. C. Nweze in his dissenting ruling held that the apex court can reverse itself if it is discovered that it made an error in arriving at its judgment.

Nweze held that the application was meritorious because the disqualified candidates in the appeal were not parties in the suit.

He accordingly upheld the application and granted the reliefs sought by the applicant.

The Supreme Court had, in May 24, 2019 ruled that the APC did not conduct valid primaries in the build-up to the 2019 general elections in Zamfara.

The apex court validated the judgement of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division, which ruled that no valid primaries were conducted by the APC in the State.

The court in a unanimous judgement by a five-member panel decided that a party that had no valid candidate cannot be said to have emerged winner of the elections.

In the previous appeal brought by the APC, the Supreme Court ruled against the appellant and ordered a fine of N10 million against the APC.

It also ordered that the candidate other than the first appellant with the highest votes stands elected.

It then declared the first runners-up in the 2019 general elections in the state as the winners of all the offices earlier declared to have been won by the APC and its candidates.

Dissatisfied with the apex court judgement, APC, through Robert Clarke, SAN, filed an application on June 17, 2019, asking the apex court to “review, amend, correct and/or set aside the consequential orders” contained in the May 24, 2019 judgment of the court.

Nnenna.O