You remain sacked and must return all salaries, allowances received, Supreme Court tells Rep Hembe

The Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon dismissed an appeal by the sacked member of the House of Representatives, Herman Hembe, who had asked the court to refer his case back to the lower court for retrial.

Mr. Hembe was sacked on June 23 by the Supreme Court and was ordered to return all the salaries and allowances he has earned since June, 2015.

The court directed that Dorathy Mato be sworn in as the authentic member to represent Vandeikiya/Konshisha federal constituency of Benue State. However, she has since not been sworn in by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court judges, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, unanimously said the law ”does not allow them to review what they have already decided.”

Mr. Onnoghen said the Supreme Court is not just the final court but it makes policies and as such, cannot go back on its decision.

“You cannot call on us to review that decision we have taken whether right or wrong. Right or wrong, that decision remains final.”

“If there is any other court above this, then you can challenge this decision.”
He said once the Supreme Court has delivered its judgment, nothing can make it set aside its judgment.

“There must be an end to litigation and Hon Hembe should understand that the judgment of 23rd June 2017 had settled every dispute between parties”, he added.
He also said that what Mr. Hembe is trying to do with his application ”is urging this Apex court to set aside its judgment.”

“It is impossible because the Supreme Court is the final court and by virtue of the 1999 Constitution, our decision is final.”

On the aspect of paying back all salaries and allowances earned by the former lawmaker, Mr. Onoghen said no aspect of the judgement is reviewable and as such, the money must be returned.

He said that is the new policy adopted by the Supreme Court to make sure politicians do the right thing.

The Supreme Court also awarded the sum of N1 million as damages against Mr. Hembe, in favour of Mrs. Mato.

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