The Supreme Court said it stood by the judgment that sacked a member of the Federal House Representatives member representing, Vandikya/ Konshisha constituency, Benue State, Herman Hembe.
Consequently, the court urged the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Yakubu Dogora, to comply with its judgment saying doing otherwise will spell doom in the nation’s democracy.
Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen who re-enforced the earlier order of the court ordered Hembe to pay the sum of N1m as cost in favour of Mrs. Dorothy Mato.
The Supreme Court had on June 25 sacked Hembe and Senator Sani Abubakar Danladi Representing Taraba State and ordered that Mrs.Dorothy Mato and Alhaji Shuaibu Isa Lau be sworn in immediately.
In addition, the court also ordered the sacked legislators to refund all monies collected as salaries and allowances in the last two years.
The court held that Mrs. Dorathy Mato who won the All Progressive Congress (APC) party ticket for the constituency is the rightful candidate.
While Senator Shuaibu Isa Lau had since been sworn in by the Senate President, Mrs. Mato’s swearing is still hanging in the House.
Rather, Hembe filed a motion on notice asking the Supreme Court to reverse itself.
But reacting to the motion yesterday, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen leading for other Justices of the court insisted that the court cannot revere itself as it has no jurisdiction to sit on appeal over its judgment.
Counsel to Hembe, Paul Erokoro had while introducing the motion, said it was asking the court to correct some errors and accidental slip contained in the judgment of the court.
But he got the other side of the court which drilled him as to the propriety of his motion in view of order 8 Rule 16 of the Supreme Court.
Counsel to Dorothy Mato, Emeka Etiaba (SAN) had expressed his readiness to attacked the motion holistically as constituting an abuse of the court process.
When the case was called, Tochukwu Peter Tochukwu announced his appearance for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), while Usman Sule announced his for the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Erokoro had told the court that his motion was for an order of the court to correct and amend an error in the judgment of the court in order to reflect the true intention of the said judgment.
He specifically noted that the court wad wrong to have invoked section 22 of the Act to hear the appeal instead of sending it back to the tribunal for re-trial.
At this stage, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Onnoghen reminded him that the case was a pre- election matter which has a time frame.
Justice Onnoghen explained; “we invoked the powers of this court under section 22 of the Act, heard the matter and gave judgment.
“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 a final court for a reason that there has to be an end to litigation.
The Supreme Court also refused the application by Paul Erokoro (SAN) asking it to vacate the consequential order directing Hembe to refund his Salaries and allowances.
On this, the CJN said, “Learned SAN, it appears you close your mind on the circumstances of this case that translated into the judgment of this court. This is a policy making court where we make policies to guide society to move forward.
“When we use judicial process to perpetuate injustice, this court comes in to maintain decorum. There is no error, there is no accidental slip in our judgment, you can go on appeal to another court, if there is any, but on our own part, we cannot review our judgment whether wrongly made or not, that is the order of this court.
“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.”
Hembe, a law graduate got into stormy waters in 2012 when the EFCC quizzed him over a bribery saga that rocked the House Committee on Capital Market, of which he was chairman.
Then Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh had accused Hembe of demanding bribe from her commission.
She also accused him of collecting estacode and a business class ticket from SEC for an overseas study in Dominican Republic, but he never attended the programme, nor returned the money.
Oteh said considering all this, Hembe and his committee lacked the credibility to continue with the investigation of her stewardship.