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Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Supreme court dismisses Ihedioha’s review application

Supreme court dismisses Ihedioha’s review application

The supreme court has dismissed the application of Emeka Ihedioha, former governor of Imo state, seeking a review of the judgement which led to his removal from office.

On January 14, 2020, the apex court had nullified Ihedioha’s victory in the March 9, 2019, election and declared Hope Uzodinma, his All Progressives Congress (APC) rival, winner of the election.

Ihedioha had approached the court, demanding that the judgement should be reviewed.

On Tuesday, a panel of judges led by Ibrahim Muhammad, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), dismissed the application, saying the ruling of the court is final.

“The finality of the supreme court is entrenched in the constitution. Inherent powers can only be evoked if there is a missing link and that is why sometimes the court could be called upon to dot the i and cross the t,” said Olukayode Ariola who read the judgement

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“The finality of the supreme court in civil cases is final.”

The judge said any attempt to make the overrule itself would be resisted.

“The verdict of the supreme court is a finality,” the panel held.

However, Chima Chiweze, one of the judges on the seven-man panel, disagreed with the judgement.

Chiweze held that a judgement could be set aside on the merits.

“A judgement or order can be set aside on the merits. This court has the power to overrule itself and has done so in the past,” the judge held.

He demanded that a certificate of return should be given to Ihedioha.

Earlier, Kanu Agabi, counsel to Ihedioha, withdrew a motion he filed  seeking a review of the judgement that sacked his client.

Agabi told the court that they would be relying on a second motion asking the judges to set aside the judgement sacking his client.

The lawyer urged the panel to rely on the verdict of the court of appeal which upheld the victory of Ihedioha.

“We are not here to challenge the supremacy of the court, your judgements are final and this is not an affront. It is as we go to God in prayer to change his mind, that is how we have come to you to change your mind,” Agabi said.

“About 34 times your lordships made reference to the 388 polling units. They only tendered results of 366 polling units whereas the court gave them credit for 22 polling units.

“The number of votes cast at the polling units exceeded the total number of accredited by 129,000.

“We urge your lordships to grant this application and set aside the judgement.”

Then the CJN asked him: “And do what?”

Agabi said: “Rely on the verdict of the court of appeal.”

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