Supreme Court yesterday declined to review its judgment delivered on the 29th of January in favour of the Ejike Oguebego led Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Anambra State.
The court held that the judgment was clear and unambiguous as it relates to the leadership of PDP in the state only and not on any other issue that was not brought before the court for adjudication by the affected parties.
In a ruling delivered by Justice John Iyang Okoro in an application filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, seeking the review, clarifications and consequences of the judgment on the status of the National Assembly members from Anambra State, the apex court held that the judgment by its ordinary meaning did not need to be subjected to any clarification.
Besides, the court held that, what was brought before it was the issue of leadership of the PDP in the state and not on the implications or consequences of elections that was conducted in the state during the last general election.
In the unanimous ruling of the 5-member panel of Justices of the Court, Justice Okoro said that the dispute on whether the certificates of return should be withdrawn from the serving lawmakers and given to the list of candidates of the Oguebego faction was not an issue before the court and that the court never made any pronouncement to that effect.
The court also held that by its Order 8, Rule 16, it was expressly stated that the court shall not review its own judgment once delivered except there is a clerical mistake or slip which in the instant case, never happened.
He held that the request sought by INEC through its lawyer, Chief Solomon Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, will amount to rewriting the judgment and giving orders where nothing has been shown that there was a clerical mistake in the judgment.
The INEC through Awomolo had filed an application at the Supreme Court, dated February 8, asking the apex court to give interpretation, implication and consequences of the judgment delivered on January 29 as it relates to the status of the National Assembly members from Anambra.
The court in the ruling said that the controversy and confusion on the status of the lawmakers was unnecessary because the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal have determined their status in their various judgments.
Therefore, Senator Andy Uba, Senator Stella Oduah and the seven House of Reps Members of the National Assembly remain elected.
Justice Okoro said that since the Court of Appeal was the final arbiter and had made pronouncement, there was no need to invite Supreme Court to make any clarification on a concluded matter that was not ambiguous.
Besides, Justice Okoro said that there was no dispute in the claim of the PDP National Executive Committee that it submitted the list of nominated candidates for National Assembly election to INEC, having conducted the primary election in line with the PDP constitution.
The Supreme Court also stated that the same claim was alluded to by INEC that it accepted the list of nominated candidates for National Assembly election from PDP National Secretariat, being the body vested with power to conduct primary election for the nomination.
Justice Okoro therefore advised lawyers, especially the senior ones, to alwaysgive their clients genuine advice and should not turn themselves to slaves of politicians.
Reacting to the ruling, counsel to INEC, Chief Awomolo said that the decision of the court has resolved the blackmail and confusion employed by parties in the case to suit their own individual purposes at the expense of the merit of the case.
However, counsel to Ejike Oguebego faction, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, said that the ruling has cleared the way for his client to benefit from the judgment delivered on January 29, 2016.
Uche said that when the Federal High Court gave ruling on the issue, INEC complied immediately without seeking for clarification and that when the Court of Appeal over turned the decision of the Federal High Court, the same electoral body complied with the appellate court’s decision without seeking for any clarification.
The counsel wondered why the same INEC has found it difficult to act on the Supreme Court decision of January 29 the way it acted on the decisions of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal.
The SAN said that his clients would press for their benefits from the Supreme Court judgment as appropriate.

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