Bayelsa – Supreme Court Refuses To Sack Diri, Awards N60m Cost
The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the applications for a review of its February 13, 2020 judgement which overturned the All Progressive Congress victory in the last governorship election in Bayelsa State. In the unanimous ruling of its seven man panel led by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, the apex court said it’s judgement on the poll was “final in the real sense of the world, final, and no force can get this court to shift from its decision.” It described the applications filed by the APC and it’s governorship candidate at the poll, David Lyon, as “vexatious, frivolous, and constitute a gross abuse of court process”. She also held that granting the applications would open a floodgate of such applications, diminish the finality of the decisions of the apex court and make the law uncertain.
Incensed by the applications, Justice Augie expressed regrets that “very senior members of the bar”, were responsible for the filing of the applications which she noted was “aimed at desecrating the sanctity of the court”. She awarded the costs of N30m against each of the applicants’ lawyers, Chief Age Babalola (SAN) representing Lyon, and Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), standing for the APC. The costs totalling N60m are to be paid to three respondents who opposed the applications. The respondents are the Peoples Democratic Party, whose legal team was led by Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), Bayelsa State Governor Duoye Diri, represented by Yunus Usman (SAN) and the deputy governor, Lawrence Ewhruojakpo, represented by Chris Uche (SAN). Although the Independent National Electoral Commission was the fourth respondent to the application, no cost was awarded in its Favour, because its lawyers led by Mr. Taminu Inuwa (SAN), took a neutral stand by not filing any document in favour of or opposition to the applications.