Following the Supreme Court judgment on the review of its ruling on the Bayelsa state governorship election, a renowned legal practitioner, Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa, SAN, has advised litigants with similar applications to withdraw them.
He said the final ruling of the apex court had shown reaffirmed the finality of its judgment, blaming lawyers for supporting politicians to rubbish the judiciary.
Speaking on Channels Television programme “Politics Today”, the legal luminary said it would have been bad if the apex court had reversed itself on the earlier judgment delivered on Bayelsa state.
He said, “The supreme court had ruled in line with the expectation of most members of the legal community, It would have amounted to judicial suicide if the supreme court had reversed itself today, I feel that it will amount to burial of the sacred institution if the doors were to be opened to all disgruntled litigants to come back to have a fresh bite.
“I said this because of the provisions of our constitution that established the supreme court, in particular section 235 of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria which that without prejudice to the powers of the president or governor of a state with respect to prerogative of mercy no appeal shall lie to any other body of person from the determination of the supreme court, that is the section that validates the finality of the supreme court, except to God.
“It should be unheard of that parties that have lost through open courts should then be looking for means of coming through the back door to express their disenchantment with the judgment of the supreme court and it would have portended great danger for our democracy because all other cases that have been settled before now will found themselves back to the supreme court, land cases of communities that have been accepted, commercial decisions, even husband and wife that have been separated by the decision of the supreme court can go back to review it.
“So I believe that the decision of their lordship is very sound, so I commend their sagacity and courage and I believe that all those who still have similar applications pending before the supreme court should take a hint from what has been decided today to go and withdraw those applications.
“There is no basis for anybody to seek to review the decisions in relation to election petitions because of ordinary four-year tenure, they rubbish and denigrate the most important institution of our democratic experience, which is the judiciary. So it is important for us to sound a warning to politicians, enough is enough, enough damage has been done to the judiciary and we should have enough of it.
Olu-Adegboruwa also supported the decision of the Supreme Court to fine the lawyers that represented parties in the case, saying legal practitioners should not allow themselves to be used by politicians to desecrate the judiciary
He said, “It is not the first time that the supreme court has descended heavily on legal practitioners who have made their clients seek to abuse the process of court and I must say that virtually all the legal practitioners involved in today’s proceedings I respect and they are our mentors within the legal profession but as we all know by now, justice is blind, there is no respect for profession, no respect for age.
“Judges are to determine cases based on the merit of the facts before them and I heard their lordship saying that the application seeking to review the judgment of Bayelsa state gubernatorial election has no basis in law. It was a case that originated from the High court, there was an appeal and there was a valid appeal to the supreme court, so to go back to that same court and be taunting them to tell the justices that they have no jurisdiction, that they made errors based on emotions of politicians.
“I think that our learned seniors saw it coming, there was enough handwriting on the wall for them to see that those applications would no go through and I am insisting that every other person, who has such application whether in relation to Zamfara, to Imo or any other state should go and withdraw them.
“We cannot allow politicians to continue to lead us to abuse the institution that produced us and I believe enough is enough for this kind of image that we have brought to the judiciary through our own efforts as lawyers and that is why I support the supreme court for descending heavily on the lawyers that led the politicians to try to put logs on the face of the court, they could not have done it better and in think its a lesson for all lawyers who may have similar ambition in the future”.