Imo: Why Supreme court can’t reverse judgment – Lawyer

Hope Uzodinma.

Mr Realwan Okpanachi, a constitutional lawyer in Abuja, says the Supreme Court cannot entertain any application on a case it has decided on, or reverse its judgment.

Okpanachi was speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Abuja, over the Supreme Court judgment that declared Hope Uzodinma winner of Imo governorship election and unseated Emeka Ihedioha.

Okpanachi was reacting to agitations from some quarters calling on the apex court to reverse its judgment on the Imo gubernatorial election held on March 9, 2019.

He said the apex court no longer had the jurisdiction to entertain any application relating to Imo governorship election, because it had clearly passed the 60 days provided for in the constitution.

The lawyer cited Section 285 (7) of the constitution to support his assertion.

“Section 285 (7) states that an appeal from a decision of an election tribunal or Court of Appeal in an election matter shall be heard and disposed of within 60 days,’’ he said.

He said the judgment in particular was delivered by the Court of Appeal before Nov. 20, 2019.

“The appeal by Uzodinma was filed around Nov. 20, 2019, and that is to say that the judgment was passed before 20 Nov. 2019.

“When you calculate from Nov. 20, 2019 till date, it clearly shows that it is above 60 days,’’ Okpanachi said.

According to the lawyer, the Supreme Court cannot entertain, hear, determine any appeal or application connected with that election appeal emanating from the court of appeal after 60 days.

The jurisdiction, he said, was no longer there.

“The judgment, as it is, is binding, conclusive and cannot be set aside, reversed or touched by any person, including the supreme court itself,” he said.

According to him, the Supreme Court is the apex court; the highest court in Nigeria and its decision, by virtue of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is final.

“Therefore, its decision is not subject to any other authority or persons,’’ Okpanachi said.