Uzodinma Ihedioha

Groups Appeal to Supreme Court Not to Preserve Error Over Imo

Pro-democracy groups and concerned civil society orgnisations have appealed to the Supreme Court to rise to the occasion, rekindle hope and demonstrate courage in the interest of justice, by ensuring that the errors reversed and not preserved and justice is not delayed in its review of the Imo State Governorship election appeal.

The Supreme Court has slated March 2, 2020 to adjudicate on an application for the review of its January 14, 2020 judgement over the Imo case.

The groups, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, Coalition for Democracy and, Justice and Unity and other CSOs, in a joint-statement made available by Comrade Ariyo-Dare Atoye, urged the Justices of the apex court to uphold the truth, show fairness, and ensure that justice is regained in the instant case.

The statement read: “We are delighted that the respected justices of the Supreme Court have not been invited to review its own judgement based an allegation of a judgement obtained by fraud in the case of Imo case, but via a window of justice prescribed by the apex court under order 8 rule 16.

“The extremely unique opportunity of order 8 rule 16 made available by the Supreme Court for use in exceptional cases like that of the Imo Appeal, is a validation of the courage of the apex court that only God is infallible and also that the fallibility of the supreme court can be redressed to preserve only justice not error, as the final court.

“We make bold to say that it is more than a national consensus that the Imo judgement was given per incuriam with due respect to the Supreme Court, and since the attention of the apex court has been through a formal application for review drawn to the obvious errors and slips in the matter, it was only a matter of when and not if, for the court to depart from the judgement of January 14, 2020.

“We humbly and passionately appeal to the Supreme Court to review and redress its January 14, 2020 ruling over Imo in the instant case because, an opportunity to depart from the errors made in the decisions may not come in the distant future and these decisions reached would be cited at the lower courts to constrain future elections petitions.

“The January 14, 2020 judgement of the Supreme Court was delivered in error to the extent that: an accidental slip was made in ruling on results from two political parties instead of 70; clerical error was made in calculating results from 388 polling units instead of less 366 polling units tendered by the principal witness (PW54);

“Another clerical error was made in allowing the votes accepted by the Supreme Court to be higher than the number of accredited voters for the election; and also, the apex committed a slip in accidentally omitting the its well settled judgment over spread in declaring a winner.

“Having observed clear cases of errors and slips in the Supreme Court ruling of January 14, 2020, we have decided to equally appeal to the apex court to remember its decision in FRN V. MKO Abiola (1995) 7 NWLR, that: justice must be rooted in confidence and confidence is destroyed when right-minded people go away thinking: The judge is biased.

“We believe that the Supreme Court has the power to overrule itself and do justice to Imo people, because according to the late sage and jurist, Oputa JSC, it is far better for the court to admit an error than to persevere in error,’ and we believe the Supreme Court will do the needful.

“Justice is the ultimate, justice is the beacon of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court is last hope of every Nigeria, and therefore it is expected that it would neither preserve error over the Imo matter nor persevere in error.

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