Breach of fair hearing

On need for party to move court on each prayer or relief on his motion paper

Society Bic S. A. v. Charzin Ind. Ltd. [2014] 4 NWLR (Pt. 1398) 497 at 546, paras. F-H, per Peter-Odili, JSC:

“A need to reiterate a rather trite point is that a party or counsel on his behalf has to be up and doing in canvassing what relief they seek. Therefore a party must move the court on each prayer or relief and any such prayer or prayers that are left unattended would be taken by the court as abandoned. The court cannot on its own get into such an abandoned relief to grant or even make comments thereon. This is because the duty of the court is streamlined and must be carried out with the jurisdiction to entertain whatever has been presented before him or assumed to have been so presented.”

Per Ngwuta, JSC at p. 533 para. E:

“From the record, not only did the learned counsel fail to mention the second relief but she actually failed to move the court. It would have been different if the learned counsel had asked the court to grant the reliefs in the motion paper or had moved in terms of the motion paper”.

Blogger’s Note:

While we appreciate the reasoning of the Court in the above case, we advocate that in this age of written submissions, once a motion has been filed and moved in open court, the court should deem it that all the reliefs counsel was praying for has been made known on the face of the motion paper and should be countenanced.


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