The supreme court has imposed a N30 million fine on Afe Babalola and Wole Olanipekun, two senior lawyers, over the application for a review of its judgment on Bayelsa governorship election.
The apex court ordered the lawyers to pay the money to Douye Diri, governor of Bayelsa, who emerged governor after David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was sacked on February 13.
Babalola and Olanipekun had filed application seeking a review of the judgment that sacked Lyon.
But the court struck out the application on Wednesday, insisting that its decision is final.
Amina Augie, the judge who read the judgment on behalf of the seven-man panel, said: “With tears in my eyes, I cannot believe that in my lifetime, I would see very senior members of the bar bring applications of this nature to this court which are aimed at desecrating the sanctity of this court, violating the principles and decisions of this court and destroying the esteem on which this court is held.
“The applications are vexatious, they are frivolous and gross abuse of court process. In the circumstances, the two applications are hereby dismissed and the cost of N10 million each is awarded against the first, second and third applicants respectively in favour of the first, second and third respondents to be paid personally by their respective counsels.”
Babalola represented Lyon and Degi-Eremieoyo, his running mate, (first and second applicants), therefore, he is to pay N20 million, while Olanipekun who represented the APC (third applicant), is to pay N10 million.
The apex court affirmed its earlier decision and emphasised that “no force on earth can get this court to shift from its decision regarding the Bayelsa state election appeal.”
“Having considered the prayers sought viz a viz the positions of the law and the arguments/submissions made by all the parties, it is clear that the two applications lack merit and constitutes an abuse of court process,” the court held.
“Howsoever the prayers sought are crafted, there is no question whatsoever that the two sets of applicants are asking this court to review its judgment delivered on the 13th of February 2020 in appeal number SC/1/2020.
“The two sets of applicants have not shown this court any clerical mistakes that need to be corrected in the judgment delivered on the 13th of February 2020 in this appeal.
“They have not pointed out any accidental slip or omission in the said judgment or shown this court any part of the said judgment that needs to be varied so as to give effect to its intention.
“There must be an end to litigation this is the final court of the land and is well settled that decisions of this court are final
“It is final in the sense of finality, it is final forever and only a legislation can alter it. The decision of this court in appeal number SC/1/2020 is final for all ages, it is final in the real sense of the word final and no force on earth can get this court to shift from its decision regarding the Bayelsa state election appeal.
“There is even no guarantee that if this application is granted, the other side will not come up with a fresh application to review the ruling on the grounds that this court did not consider a certain part of its argument in its ruling.”