Thursday, 25 February 2016

Joy as Supreme Court Validates Odua, Uba's Election

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that Senator Stella Oduah and two others were validly elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), hence they were to retain their seats as Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In a press statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Oduah, Cynthia Ferdinand which was made available to DAILY POST in Abuja, the Court averred that it lacked jurisdiction to review itself on judgement previously given which was a rule that has been established.
“It is a rule that has long been established in legal jurisprudence that Supreme Court does not reverse it’s judgement or decision on a case brought before it”, the Supreme Court Justice said.
He added, “The judgement of this Court is final as reflected in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. On the whole. I hold the view that this court has no jurisdiction to entertain this motion from INEC, this matter is hereby stuck out.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC had filed a case to the Supreme Court seeking clarification on its ruling on the 29th of January 2016 that reinstated Mr. Ejike Oguebego as the Chiarman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Anambra State Chapter.
Extrapolating issues on its judgement, Justice John Okoro said the issue of primaries was not included in the appeal th
at came before it even as it was still pending at the High Court, before primaries were held.
He pointed that the Supreme Court had ruled severally that only the National Executive of a party can forward a list to INEC, and since INEC said it was the National Executive that did that, and not the caretaker committee, then there was no contest.
“The issue of Primaries were still pending at the Federal High Court and it is only the National Executive Committee of a party that could forward a list of candidates to INEC on points of law, and since INEC had admitted to that, there was no contest any further,” he said
Okoro said: “A High Court had ruled on the issue, but was overturned by an Appeal Court and we only set aside the judgement of the Appeal Court based on merit and restored the judgement of the High Court.”
”Since the Counsel to the INEC, Chief Awomolo could not convince the court that it had jurisdiction to uphold appellant’s interest, it was baffling that INEC would claim ignorance of the previous judgement.”
Read details of ruling by Justice Okoro below:
He ruled, “The motion is not seeking correction of any clerical mistake or some error arising from any accidental slip or omission. May I say, generally too, that this court has the power to correct its own clerical errors or slip of the pen. Such power is exercisable in both civil and criminal proceedings.
“It must be clearly stated that it is not every slip or error in a judgment that would be allowed to undermine or derogate from an otherwise well-written judgment. I have seen the application by the applicant (INEC) and the issues thrown up for determination.
“I am of the view that this court has no jurisdiction to determine and pronounce upon them as it will have the effect of rewriting the judgment and in the process, making orders, which ought not to have been made in the first place. The judgment of this court is final by virtue of Section 235 of the Constitution.
“From the issue before us, nothing has been shown, which is not clear in the judgment. It is wrong for anyone to import into the judgment, issues which were not ventilated and decided upon.”
Justice John Okoro stated that the Supreme Court neither ordered INEC to accept the list of candidates for the National Assembly election from the Oguebego-led EXCO nor did it direct INEC to conduct fresh elections to the National Assembly in the state.
He added, “For instance, the applicant is seeking clarifications whether to issue certificate of return to persons in the list of Ejike Oguebego-led executive committee. This was not part of our judgment.
“Also, INEC is seeking whether to do a fresh election to the National Assembly, as it affects Anambra State. This, again, was not part of the judgment. These are matters that have been properly ventilated at the election tribunal and the Court of Appeal. I am not aware that any of those matters are on appeal in this court.
“It is untrue that parties do not understand the import of our judgment. Where in the judgment did we state that the Oguebego-led committee should take over the functions of the National Executive Committee of the PDP so that it can submit a list to INEC? I think counsel are not fair to this court when they say they do not understand the judgment of this court, which was written in simple English language.”


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