The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the application by the All Progressive Congress (APC) seeking the setting aside of the consequential order of the court that made the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) beneficiary of all elective positions in the 2019 general election in Zamfara State.
In a split ruling of four Justices to one, the apex court held and insisted that its decision on any matter is final and that it cannot review its decision on any matter.
In the majority ruling delivered by Justice John Inyang Okoro, the Supreme Court upheld the preliminary objection raised by Senator Kabiru Marafa against the judgment review application of the APC.
Justice Okoro said that by Order 8 Rule 16 of the Supreme Court, it has no jurisdiction under any guise to interfere with any judgment once delivered by the court.
The court further held that the application brought by APC was an abuse of court process, incompetent and vexatious because Order 8 Rule 16 is a clear and unambiguous law that prohibits it from going into a matter already decided.
Justice Okoro who cited several authorities to justify the position of the court made it clear that the farthest the Supreme Court can go in a matter already decided is to correct clerical errors and slips and not to sit as an appellate court in its own decision.
“Even, our forebearers did not leave anyone in doubt that a Supreme Court judgment, once delivered, cannot be adjudicated upon in the form of appeal by the same court.
Insisting that there must be an end to litigation, Justice Okoro held that the finality of the Supreme court is sealed and that no one can come through the back door to interfere with it.
“The consequential order complained of by the applicant is a legitimate consequential order and this application seeking for its review and setting aside is vexatious and frivolous as it violently violates Order 8 Rule 16 of the court.
“Let me warn here that political parties must obey their own constitution and relevant laws and where they fail or refuse to obey, the hammer of the court will always fall on them.
“It is the duty of the court to always take a decision that will prevent anarchy in this country. Only serious matters must be brought before the Supreme Court”, he held.
Justice Okoro thereafter imposed a fine of N2 million to be paid by APC to the Senator Kabiru Marafa faction in the appeal.
However, in a dissenting judgment by Justice Centus China Nweze, he disagreed with his colleagues that the Supreme Court can’t reverse itself where necessary.
Justice Nweze agreed that the consequential order was made in error because the PDP candidate in the last general elections in Zamfara state were not parties in the appeal and ought not to have benefited.
“The consequential order complained against by the applicant has no bearing with the appeal brought by the APC and is hereby set aside, having been made in error”, Justice Nweze held.