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Published On: Wed, Mar 18th, 2020

Zamfara Guber: Supreme Court reserves ruling on review

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By Vivian Okejeme

The Supreme Court, Abuja, yesterday, reserved ruling in the application filed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) to set aside 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.
Shortly after lawyers representing parties in the matter adopted their brief of arguments, the Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad five man panel of the Apex court reversed ruling for a later date, which will be communicated to the parties involved.
In his brief of argument urging the court to aside the consequential order Chief Robert Clarke SAN, informed the panel that the order was made out of jurisdiction by Supreme Court.
The very senior lawyer contested that the APC which brought the application challenging the consequential order was not against the main judgment because the party did not conduct primary election for nomination of candidates for the 2019 general election.
Clarke posited that what the Supreme Court ought to have done was to order f a primary election and election for all elective positions in the state.
He told the panel that the consequential order which made the PDP candidates winners of all elective offices was in bad taste and ought to be reversed.
Clarke further submitted that it was wrong of the apex court to have declared over 400, 000 votes cast for APC as wasted simply because APC at the time did not conduct primary election known to law because of its internal dispute.
He therefore urged the court to invoke its inherent jurisdiction to set aside the consequential order that brought PDP’s candidates to power in Zamfara State and instead should order APC to conduct a primary election and to also order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct new election into all elective offices in Zamfara State.
However Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa, who is the first respondent in the matter urged the apex court to dismiss the request of the APC for want of jurisdiction and merit.
Marafa through his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, informed the panel that the APC’s application was caught by section 285 of the 1999 Constitution which prescribed 60 days for hearing and determination starting from the date the notice of appeal was filed.
Ozekhome argued that the apex court gave final judgment in the Zamfara governorship tussle over 10 months ago, adding that bringing such application for the second time is a gross abuse of the process of the apex court.
The senior lawyer urged the court to dismiss the application with huge punitive fine to keep the party away from further abuse of court process.
Ozekhome cited the decision of the court in the Bayelsa and Imo States governorship tussles adding that the apex court has made it clear that its judgment on any issue is final for all times, ages and that no force on earth can change the decision except a law made to that effect.

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