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Discipline judges hearing cases already decided by Supreme Court, NJC urged

Published by The Nation on Sun, 02 May 2021


The National Judicial Council (NJC) and the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) have been called upon to ensure that judges who entertain cases already decided by the Supreme Court are adequately disciplined.Public affairs analyst, Chief Oliver Okpala, who made the call, also urged the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to discipline lawyers who re-present to the courts, cases already heard by the apex court.Reacting to an allegation of an attempt to resurrect a case in Anambra State, involving the Ukpo/Abba land dispute, which had been decided by the Supreme Court, Okpala said: One big question now is if it is right for a Chief Judge of a state to allow the re- opening of a case which had already been decided upon by the Supreme Court and to assign it to a judge'He argued that judges who entertain such kinds of cases should be called to question by the National Judicial Council to serve as a deterrent to others.According to him, there are values acceptable and long held standards, as well as traditions upon which our judicial system is built. It is when we hold these values and traditions that we can make everyone, even lawyers, to respect and uphold the sanctuary and judgments of the structures such as the Supreme Court.The Nigerian Bar Association should see the need to call these lawyers to order and bring them into alignment with the dictates of the legal profession. Lawyers and judges who know their onions cannot feign ignorance of such judgments by the Supreme Court. We are indeed in very troubled times if these kinds of concussions are allowed to take root in our judiciary.Read Also:Imo North: Supreme Court reverses Ibezims disqualificationHe described attempts to bring a case already decided on by the Supreme Court before another court or even the same apex court as an attempt to somewhat undermine the laws of our land and bring the judiciary to disrepute.He said the Supreme Court had, on the 15th of February 2019, ruled in favour of the Ukpo Community on the 44yrs land dispute between Ukpo and Abba Community in a judgement which lasted for hours.A question therefore arises that if a matter which had been decided by the Supreme Court can be reopened under another guise; what institution can therefore hold its sanctity in our clime'According to him, The growing cases of violations and evasion of Supreme Court judgments is one that should worry every right thinking Nigerian. This abhorrent practice involves the reintroduction of cases already decided by the Supreme Court, which is the apex court of the land.This practice of reopening cases already decided by the apex court with tacit support from some lower courts is to say the least an invitation to anarchy. Citing cases like Senator Hope Uzodinma versus the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he said the attitude of lawyers filing such frivolous suits and motions is to say the least appalling and reprehensible.
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