Cause list

On duty on court to obey cause list

Pam v. Mohammed [2008] 16 NWLR (Pt. 1112) 1 at 83-84, paras. G-C, per Tobi, JSC (of blessed memory):

“A cause list in our jurisprudence is a list showing or indicating the cases to be taken by the court for the day. It includes the action to be taken in each case and counsel to do the cases. In respect of the action, the cause list clearly indicates whether the case is for mention, motion, hearing or judgment. A trial judge, or an appellate judge, must obey the cause list in the sense that he must not go outside the action to be taken in each case.


Where a case is for hearing of motion, the trial judge must hear the motion and adjourn for any other process. On no account should he hear a motion and hear the merits of the matter, not to talk about delivering judgment. He may consider doing that in the very rare circumstance of consent by parties.  I should liken a cause list to an agenda of a meeting minus AOB, the cognomen for any other business, because cause list has no such business. The business of the court is exact and so exactly put in the list. The aim or objective of the cause list is to give notice in advance to the parties, the business of the day in respect of the case. It enables the parties and their counsel, if any, to prepare in advance. The parties should not be taken by surprise…”

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