(Opinion)At last, APC Confesses, the Supreme Court Made A Mistake Sacking Ihedioha. By Divine Sam

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) signalled its intention to seek a review of the January 14, 2020 misjudgement by the Supreme Court on the 2019 Imo State governorship election.
The Illegitimate beneficiary of the misjudgement, Senator Hope Uzodimma and All Progressives Congress (APC) party seem to be making very big music out of the idea. They are insisting that once the Supreme Court delivers judgement, nothing on earth or in heaven can make the Supreme Court revisit, review and reverse its judgement.
That was before the Supreme Court judgement on the appeal by the APC on the judgement of the High Court and the Court of Appeal, that disqualified the deputy governor candidate of the APC in the November 2019 election in Bayelsa State, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo, resulting in the disqualification of the governor-elect, David Lyon.
That judgement by the Supreme Court saw a sharp twist in fate, as the PDP was returned as the eventual winners of the election, earlier won by the APC. In political equations, that was a major loss to APC and its candidates, hence they protested and kicked against it.
That Supreme Court judgement was on Thursday, February 13 to the amazement of concerned members of the public who have been observing the trend in the controversial and contentious judgement by the Supreme Court on the Imo appeal, the application filed by APC for the review of the judgement on the Bayelsa appeal failed.
That was barely few days after the disqualification of Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo and by association, David Lyon. Many still can’t believe that APC could seek a review of a judgement by the Supreme Court.
It was a hypocritical turn of events. How could APC that had few days, previously, argued against review, be approaching the Supreme Court, praying for a review and reverse of its February 13 judgement on Bayelsa State?
That has incidentally left some implications for the January 14 misjudgement by the Supreme Court on the Imo appeal.
First, APC seems to have thrown in the towel in its fight against Supreme Court revisit, review and reverse of its concluded judgement. That implies that the APC has conceded all its tenacious position and now sees reason that, as human beings, the Supreme Court justices are human beings that have the capacity for making mistakes and errors, which they can correct!
Two, the APC application for the review of the Bayelsa judgement has indicated that APC has faith, trust and confidence in the Supreme Court to deliver judgement in situations where a party in the matter saw misjudgment and not judgement, injustice and not justice.
Three, it’s no longer an issue, as the APC tended to drive in the early days of the PDP application for the setting aside of the misjudgment of January 14, that election matters must be conclusively heard within 60, after which it can never be revisited.
In its six-point summary objection and defence to the PDP application for setting aside the January 14 misjudgment, the APC stated as follows:
“Summary of Senator Hope Uzodinma’s Preliminary Objection and Defence against the application for judgment review by Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.
“1. Order 8 Rule 16 of the Supreme Court Rules 2014 prohibits this Honourable Court from reviewing its judgment once given and delivered, save to correct clerical mistakes or accidental slip.
“That is to say that the Supreme Court can review its judgment but only on issues that do not touch on its judgment and that is applicable to civil jurisprudence.
” The Supreme Court has discharged the burden placed on it by the law in section 285 of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act within the sixty days stipulated by law for the court to conclude and election matter.
“This Constitutional burden which has been undertaken by the court cannot be changed as the matter has become sui generis.
“In other words, by virtue of section 285 (9) of Nigeria’s Constitution, the supreme law in the country, Hon Emeka Ihedioha’s matter under any guise or name, has become statute-barred, lifeless and dead on arrival having spent the maximum 60 days allowed by law in the court.
” When the Supreme Court has given its verdict and it has been executed by way of swearing-in of the executive governor of a state, the only way to vacate its decision is through an election petition which will no longer be possible in this case.
“. Facts raised in the review are facts that issues were joined and decided during the pendency of the election petition. Inviting the Supreme court to take a look at those facts again is asking the court to reopen the case which is not tenable at this time.”
From the foregoing, it becomes very significant that soon after its so-called points of objection and defence, the APC made a swift detour and recant few days after to sing a different tune that roundly contradict its original stand.
Certainly, this must be the most innovative moment in the annals of pre-election and post-election petitions and appeals in Nigeria nay the Supreme Court, since 1999! It’s been so expository and enriching, yet still counting!
There’s no doubt that by the time the Supreme Court finished with the 2019 election and appeals, a new chapter would have been written in the books of democracy and judiciary in Nigeria.
Written By Divine Sam

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