In a six-to-one judgment, the Supreme Court docket on Tuesday dismissed former Imo State Governor Emeka Ihedioha’s utility for a overview of the January 14 judgment, which ordered his elimination.
The best courtroom ordered the swearing-in of All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate Hope Uzodimna, however Ihedioha and the Peoples Democratic Social gathering (PDP) requested the apex courtroom to reverse the decision.
Dismissing the applying, the Supreme Court docket held that its determination is last.
Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, who learn the judgment, held that the Supreme Court docket lacked the jurisdiction to overview its judgment.
However, in a dissenting opinion, Justice Centus Nweze held that the courtroom might change its thoughts on any determination, having accomplished so up to now.
In keeping with him, the Supreme Court docket didn’t resolve a portion of the Court docket of Enchantment judgment, which struck out Uzodinma’s petition.
Ihedioha’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN), prayed the courtroom to put aside the judgment and restore the Court docket of Enchantment’s verdict, which the Supreme Court docket voided.
He argued that the apex courtroom was misled, including that it was higher to appropriate the error by reviewing the judgment moderately than retaining it.
Uzodinma’s lawyer, Damian Dodo (SAN), prayed the courtroom to retain the judgment on the grounds that there was no error that required correction.
Justice Ariwoola held: “The judgment is a last judgment of the courtroom as prescribed in Part 235 of the Structure.
The enchantment was adjudged meritorious and was allowed, and the judgment of the decrease courtroom (the Court docket of Enchantment), which affirmed the judgment of the Governorship Election Tribunal was put aside.
“Typically, by the availability of the Guidelines of this courtroom, it shall not overview any judgment as soon as delivered by its save to appropriate any clerical mistake or some errors arising from any unintended slip or omission or to fluctuate the judgment or order, in order to present impact to its which means or intention.
A judgment or order shall not be different when it appropriately represents what the courtroom determined nor shall the operative and supportive a part of it’s different and a unique kind substituted. (See Order Eight Rule 16 of the Guidelines of this courtroom).
The overall regulation is that the courtroom has no energy to change or fluctuate a judgment or order after supply, besides (a) as far as it’s essential to appropriate errors in expressing the intention of the courtroom or (b) to appropriate clerical errors or some errors arising from unintended slip or omission, that’s the slip rule or (c) an order which is a nullity owing to failure to adjust to a vital provision, such because the service of course of, will be put aside by the courtroom which made the order and (e) a judgment or an order made towards a celebration in default (may additionally be put aside.).
It’s settled regulation that this courtroom has no energy to alter or alter its personal judgment or sit as an Enchantment Court docket over its personal judgment.
There isn’t any doubt that the courtroom has inherent powers in respect of issues inside its jurisdiction. It actually has no inherent energy to imagine jurisdiction in respect of the matter not inside its jurisdiction.
It’s clear from the tone and the wording of the moment utility that what’s being sought is asking the courtroom to take a seat over its personal judgment already delivered and executed. That’s actually past the competence of this courtroom.”
The Supreme Court docket stated it derives its jurisdiction from the Structure and an Act of the Nationwide Meeting.
Justice Ariwoola added: “There isn’t any constitutional provision for the overview of the judgment of the Supreme Court docket by itself.
“Subsequently, as soon as it delivers its last judgment, the Supreme Court docket, topic, in fact, to the slip rule precept, it turns into functus officio in respect thereof.”
Justice Ariwoola recalled that on February 26, the courtroom was confronted with related utility in relation to the judgment it gave on February 13 on the Bayelsa governorship dispute.
He famous that the Supreme Court docket, in rejecting the applying, relied on its Order 8, Rule 16, which prohibits a overview of the apex courtroom’s judgment.
Justice Ariwoola held that the implication is that the courtroom “does not have the competence and lacks the required jurisdiction to review its own judgment, except, as earlier stated, in the circumstances set out in the Rules of this court.”
He famous that the courtroom has held in circumstances that “the finality of the Supreme Court is entrenched in the Constitution”.
Subsequently, as soon as the choice of the courtroom is obvious, it’s last within the sense that the thrust of the ratio decidendi is manifest in it.
Inherent powers of the courtroom can solely be invoked if there’s a lacking hyperlink in the principle physique of the judgment. And a few steps should be taken to fill within the hole or ambiguity in order that the justice of the difficulty can be clear.
That’s the reason this courtroom can generally be referred to as upon to dot the Is and fill within the gaps within the slip obvious within the judgment. In any other case, the courtroom can not, underneath any guise or so-called inherent powers, alter or has to clear an unambiguous judgment as soon as given,” the Justice stated.
Justice Ariwoola relied on one other earlier judgment of the courtroom the place it was held that the finality of the Supreme Court docket determination in civil proceedings is absolute until particularly put aside by later laws.
He added: “The justices that man the courtroom are in fact fallible, however their judgments are, because the Structure intends, infallible.
Subsequently, any ingenious try by counsel to put aside or circumvent the choice of the Supreme Court docket can be met with stiff resistance.
With none additional ado, this utility is taken into account missing in advantage and is liable to be dismissed.
To ask us to put aside the judgment of this courtroom delivered on the 14th of January 2020 is an invite to ask us to take a seat on enchantment over our personal judgment. We can not achieve this.
To put aside the judgment on this circumstance is to open the floodgate for purposes by events to overview the judgments of this courtroom. To try this will, to say the least, convey the courtroom to disrepute and mock.
Within the circumstance, this utility is accordingly dismissed.”
Justice Ariwoola declined to award value towards any get together.
Different 5 members of the panel who agreed with the lead ruling are: Chief Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, Justices Sylvester Ngwuta, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Amina Augie and Uwani Abba-Aji.
In his dissenting ruling, Justice Nweze stated there was numerous causes for the courtroom to have granted Ihedioha’s utility.
He agreed with Agabi that the Supreme Court docket was with out the required jurisdiction when it sat and thought of the enchantment on which its January 14th judgment was given.
He held that the judgment of the Court docket of Enchantment, which struck out Uzodinma’s petition on the tribunal for being incompetent, was nonetheless subsisting as a result of it raised the difficulty of jurisdiction, which the Supreme Court docket didn’t resolve in its judgment.
Referring to the courtroom’s previous selections in Adegoke Motors vs Adesanya, Johnson vs Lawanson, amongst others, Justice Nweze disagreed with the bulk determination.
This courtroom has the facility to overrule itself and has accomplished so up to now,” Justice Nweze stated.
He additionally held that it was mistaken for the courtroom to have awarded electoral victory to Uzodinma, who had argued that the election was a nullity on grounds of non-compliance.
Justice Nweze additionally faulted the outcomes Uzodinma claimed on the tribunal and puzzled why he omitted to current the scores of the opposite candidates within the election.
He added: “Having thus failed, neglected or omitted to bring the scores of other candidates in the election, this court wrongly declared him as duly elected.”
Justice Nweze was additionally of the view that the Supreme Court docket ought to not have upheld the outcomes claimed by Uzodinma as a result of he had, whereas testifying on the tribunal, admitted that the outcomes had been greater than the variety of accredited voters and that he compiled the outcomes.
He held that Uzodinma misled the courtroom to simply accept the “ubiquitous and fake results” which he admitted that he compiled.
Justice Nweze famous that, in accepting the outcomes claimed by Uzodinma, the courtroom was misled into popping out with complete votes in extra of the whole variety of accredited voters, which was 823,743.
He additionally held that the courtroom was misled in declaring Uzodinma the winner when it didn’t discover that the APC candidate met the constitutional requirement to be so declared.
Justice Nweze upheld Ihedioha’s utility, granted his reliefs, and put aside the Supreme Court docket judgment sacking him.