Zamfara Governorship: Supreme Court dismisses APC’s application to review judgment

Supreme Court of Nigeria
Supreme Court of Nigeria

The Supreme Court, on Friday, dismissed an application, asking it to review its judgement which nullified the victory of the candidates of the All Progressive Congress (APC) at the 2019 general elections held in Zamfara State.

With one out of seven justices dissenting, the court, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed, held that the application by the APC is an abuse of court process.

Reading the majority judgement, Justice John Okoro said the apex court lacked the jurisdiction to review its own judgement.

“The finality of the Supreme Court is sealed,” he held.

“The application is a gross abuse of court process, it is frivolous.

“The application is hereby dismissed.”

Justice Okoro further awarded the cost of N2 million against the appellant to be paid to the first – 140th respondents.

The fresh application before the apex court was brought by a faction of the APC led by a former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari.

The APC counsel, Roberte Clarke, had urged the court to grant his clients’ application by setting aside the consequential order which gave victory to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates in the state.

Mr Clarke also urged the apex court to order the APC to conduct fresh primaries.

The senior lawyer argued that the apex court’s previous orders were made without jurisdiction.

But the lawyer of the Kabiru Marafa-led APC faction in Zamfara, Mike Ozekhome, urged the apex court to dismiss the application and award huge costs against the applicants’ lawyer.

The Supreme Court had, on May 24, 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 Zamfara 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 an appeal brought by the APC, the apex court ruled against the appellant and ordered a fine of N10 million against the APC.

“Candidate other than the first appellant with the highest votes stand elected. A cost of N10 million is awarded against the appellant,” the court had ruled.

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 Mr Clarke, 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 apex court.

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