The Supreme Court delivered a ruling months ago sacking a Taraba senator, Sani Abubakar Danladi, and a Taraba member of the House of Representatives, Herman Hembe. Whereas the senate president, Bukola Saraki, immediately obeyed the court and swore in the rightful winner, Shuabu Isa Lau; the House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, refused to obey the highest court in the land by swearing in Dorothy Malo.
On Wednesday, the court warned Dogara to stop disobeying court orders as it is harmful to the country’s democracy.
The bigger culprit: Herman Hembe is the biggest culprit in all of this. He stole an election and instead of obeying the court, he filed a motion through his counsel, Paul Erokoro, asking the Supreme Court to reverse itself, knowing well that the Court has no jurisdiction to do so whether its ruling is right or wrong. Erokoro said what he wanted was for the court to correct some errors and accidental slip in its judgement. He wanted the court to send the case back to the tribunal for retrial.
Supreme Court was having none of it: The Chief Justice of the Federation, Walter Onnoghen, who led four other justices on this case was scandalized by Hembe’s request.
“So are you now asking us to review our judgment? Whether or not we are wrong, our decision is final; we cannot review our judgment. The Supreme Court is the final court for a reason that there has to be an end to litigation,” Onnoghen said.
Pay back the money: The Supreme Court had earlier ruled that Hembe should refund all the monies he had received as a lawmaker since he was never the rightful winner. Hembe asked the court to reverse that order. Again, Onnoghen said no.
“If somebody has been in the House where he is not supposed to be and has reaped the benefits which it should not be, you mean we should close our eyes to this product of impunity? No, we cannot go back to that because the imposter has no right to it. Whatever he collected should be refunded. This court is sending a message to everybody so that right from the primaries, the right thing should be done,” the CJN said.
And take this for your troubles: The Supreme Court consequently struck out Hembe’s request and awarded N1million cost against him in favour of Mato upon request by her counsel.