The All Progressives Congress (APC) has returned to the Supreme Court asking the court to reverse its judgment disqualifying David Lyon, its candidate in the 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa State.The party’s application was filed on Thursday by its team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun,SAN.The APC also wants the Supreme Court to set aside the wrong interpretation in its judgment of February 13, and its subsequent execution by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
They are also contending that the apex Court misinterpreted the November 12, 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja which it affirmed.The party argued that the Supreme Court acted without jurisdiction and denied it fair hearing when it proceeded to disqualify its governorship candidate.APC also faulted the interpretation given to the Supreme Court judgment by INEC in deciding to issue a certificate of return to the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).It stated: “After reinstating the judgment of the trial court, this honourable court proceeded to disqualify the governorship candidate of the appellant (Lyon David Pereworimin) despite the fact that the trial refused to grant the reliefs for his disqualification and there was no appeal against same.“In this honourable court’s judgment of February 13, the court erroneously and inadvertently stated that the trial court consequentially disqualified the applicant‘s governorship candidate even though the trial court made no such order.” Rather, the trial court indeed refused to grant the express orders sought by the plaintiffs therein for his disqualification”.
The APC want the Supreme Court to set aside portions of its judgment where it held that the Federal High Court, in disqualifying its Deputy Governorship candidate, proceeded to disqualify its governorship candidate.“And where it held that joint ticket of its candidates was vitiated by the disqualification of the Deputy Governorship candidate and that both candidates are deemed not to be candidates in the election”.It further prayed the Supreme Court to set aside the portion of the judgment where it ordered INEC to declare as winner of the governorship election, candidates with the highest number of lawful votes.” Also where it ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to its governorship candidate and the issuance of fresh one to the candidate who had the highest number of lawful votes”.The APC argued that it was wrong for the Supreme Court to have voided its candidates’ participation in the election, when, the judgment by the Federal High Court, disqualifying its deputy governorship candidate, was stayed as at when the election was conducted.It stated: “By an originating summons dated 12th September, 2019, in Suit NO: PHC/ABJ/CS/ 1101/2019 between Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) & 2 Ors. v. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo & 3 ors., the respondents approached the Federal High Court for a total of 10 reliefs.
In the judgment of the Federal High Court, delivered on November 12, 2019, the said court granted only six of the reliefs.“In the drawn up order of the Federal High Court duly signed by the trial judge the six reliefs granted are clearly encapsulated therein.“In specific reference to the reliefs for the disqualification of the governorship candidate of the applicant (Lyon David Pereworimin), the trial court refused to grant the plaintiffs’ prayers to disqualify him.“It was only the Deputy Governorship candidate of the applicant (Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo) that the trial High Court made an order of disqualification against.“Applicant and its governorship and deputy governorship candidates timely appealed the judgment of the Federal High Court to the Court of Appeal, and also applied for a stay of execution of the said judgment pending appeal.“The Court of Appeal, Abuja division, stayed the execution of the judgment of the trial High Court.“As at the time the governorship election in Bayelsa was conducted on Nov. 16, 2019 the order for stay of execution granted by the Court of Appeal was subsisting and there was no appeal against it.
“The judgment of the Court of Appeal was delivered on Dec. 23, 2019 whereby the Court of Appeal set aside the decision of the trial High Court delivered on Nov. 12, 2019.“There was no cross-appeal to the Court of Appeal against the decision of the trial High Court refusing to make an order disqualifying the governorship candidate of the applicant (David Lyon)”.APC said the apex court acted without jurisdiction and also breached applicant’s right to fair hearing.
“With respect, the portions of the judgment of this honourable court highlighted in the body of this application constitute a nullity.“With respect, the decision of this honourable court of Feb. 13, was premised on and vitiated by a fundamental error and is contrary to public policy.“By a press statement made on Feb. 14, the Chairman of the 4th respondent(INEC), reviewed the judgment of this honourable court, gave it a different interpretation and came to a wrong conclusion, thus declaring the 2nd and 3rd respondents as the Governor and Deputy Governor elect of Bayelsa, respectively.