Plateau: Supreme Court should confirm its superiority over Court of Appeal —Bwala
Mr Daniel Bwala, a constitutional lawyer and PDP chieftain, has urged the Supreme Court to confirm its superiority over the Court of Appeal during the final judgment on the appeal of Gov Caleb Mutfwang against the judgment of the Appeal Court which nullified his election on the basis of a pre-election matter which it lacks jurisdiction to entertain.
According to Bwala, the Supreme Court has its job well cut for it in deciding whether the Court of Appeal has a right to upturn settled law when it considers the appeal brought by the Governor against the Appellate Court decision that removed him from office.
Bwala, who made this known in a live television program when he featured on Arise Television on Monday, November 27, 2023, said the authority of the Supreme Court as the final court in the land has been brought to question on the settled law on pre-election matters as determined by the Court of Appeal over the Plateau election.
While noting that the Court of Appeal decided to throw out pre-election matters in deference to the authority of the apex court in election petitions brought in Benue, Ebonyi and several other jurisdictions, he expressed wonder why the same court took jurisdiction of the issue in Plateau.
Bwala said: “This case of Plateau State when it gets to the Supreme Court it will be the case of Supreme Court versus Court of Appeal.
”It has more to do with the sanctity and integrity of that Supreme Court itself because the Supreme Court will have to determine whether that judgment they delivered in the Presidential Election Tribunal is to be carried out by subordinate courts in Nigeria.
“They made it clear that a decision by a final court is called a settled law. Once a case is not determined by the final court it is not a settled law. But once it is determined by a final court it is cast on stone.
”So, the Supreme Court will have to determine whether the Court of Appeal is above it or it is above the Court of Appeal.”
Noting how public confidence had been eroded in the judiciary by the decisions of some courts, he further said: “The confidence of the people is gradually waning considering the trust they have in the judiciary.
“How can a court in Ebonyi, a court in Benue and in all other places obey the judgment of the Supreme Court but in Plateau State, the court of Appeal disobeyed the judgment of the Supreme Court regarding matters of pre-election.
“Before the Supreme Court all characters of pre-election were brought, the ones that bothered on double nomination, certificate forgery and even on how somebody emerged in a primary and the Supreme Court maintained the same position and they spoke with vehemence.
“So, it will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court will speak with the same vehemence. In the days of Justice Tobi they never failed to chastise the court below them when the court below them disobeyed the judgment they passed.”