Parties may be joined in a suit at any stage including the stage of execution

Mudasiru v. Onyearu [2013] 7 NWLR (Pt. 1354) 419 at 446, paras. F-H, per Danjuma, JCA:

“Parties may be joined in a suit at any stage including the stage of execution. It is, therefore, not correct that after judgment, a party may not be joined. It can be done even during an appeal; that is why we have the notice of appeal as an interested party by leave to appeal. This has a constitutional enablement”.

Where there is a dispute as to facts Originating Summons may still be used

Pam v. Mohammed [2008] 16 NWLR (Pt. 1112) 1 at 88, paras. E-F, per Tobi, JSC (of blessed memory):

“It is not the law that once there is a dispute on facts, the matter should be commenced by writ of summons. No. That is not the law. The law is that the dispute on facts must be substantial, material, affecting the live issues in the matter. Where disputes are peripheral, not material to live issues, an action can be sustained by originating summons. After all, there can hardly be a case without facts. Facts make a case and it is the dispute in the facts that give rise to litigation”.

Blogger’s Note:

The above case was cited by the Supreme Court, Per Alagoa, JSC in Asogwa v. P.D.P. [2013] 7 NWLR (Pt. 1353) 207 at 284, para B.

On need for the NYSC Authorities to take welfare of corp members seriously

Corporal Nicholas Okoh v. Nigerian Army [2013] 1 NWLR (Pt. 1334) 16 at 35-36, paras. G-B, per Okoro, JCA:

“Before I end this judgment I wish to observe that this incident [of rape] would not have occurred if the Army Authorities which the prosecutrix was posted to serve her National Youth Service Corps programme had given her accommodation. She was left at the mercy of people like the appellant who has no value for the sanctity of the human person. Miss *** may not be the only female corper who has suffered this kind of molestation in this country. Some may not have reported. But they are there… I call on the NYSC Authorities to take the welfare of Corpers seriously especially as regards their accommodation wherever they are posted. With regard to female corpers, the call is more apt…”

Blogger’s Note:

Recent reports shows that it is still doubtful if the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) authorities have hearken to the call of taking the welfare of corp members seriously. Some reportedly died at camp clinic due to one ailment or the other such as diarrhoea. Many also meet their untimely deaths during electoral violence like the one we saw in 2011. It is actually a serious question whether NYSC scheme is still useful as graduates are beginning to have a rethink.

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…”

“Shall” can also mean “May”

A.T. Ltd. v. A.D.H. Ltd. [2007] 15 NWLR (Pt. 1056) 118 at 154, para C, per Tabai, JSC:

“…I prefer a construction of the word “Shall” in the proviso to section 234 of the Constitution to be “May”, conveying a directory or permissive connotation and having room for some discretion as to when to constitute a panel of seven Justices in appeals with respect to questions under section 233(2)(b) and (c) of the Constitution”.

Blogger’s Note:

His lordship, Tabai, JSC, also stated at p. 151-152 of the report, after considering the state of the authorities, that ‘there is no laid down rule as to whether the word, “shall” used in a statute carries mandatory or merely directory connotation and that its real purport depends, by and large, on the particular context in which it is used…  Whether the word “shall” in an enactment conveys an obligatory rather than merely directory or permissive connotation depends on the very context in which it used and that its construction, whether used in the Constitution, Statute or Rules of Court is the same.

On bane of Nigeria’s educational system – square pegs are put in round holes.

Unijos v. Ikegwuoha [2013] 9 NWLR (Pt. 1360) 478 at 507, paras. F-G, per Ngwuta, JSC:

“Did the members of the “Full Panel” that interviewed the Respondent [the Lecturer] on behalf of the University of Jos conduct the interview in their sleep? How could they have inflicted on the University lecturer who had no writing and/or communication skill in the English Language to teach Political Science? This is the bane of the educational system in the country – square pegs are put in round holes. And the Appellant [Unijos], having woken up to her errors, thanks to some 300-level students, failed to comply with section 22 (vii) of her Regulations thereby compounding the problem for the University with the Respondent. Perhaps the Appellant will resolve that in due course. However, the sooner the issue is resolved the better for the University and her students, particularly those in the Social Sciences.”

Blogger’s Note:

Indeed, employment of incompetent lecturers have become the trend in most of our Nigerian universities, mostly, federal universities. Persons who have no passion for research, writing and imparting knowledge are employed on some baseless grounds like ethnicity and family connections. The consequences are high and we are all witnesses to same.
Apart from the above, the government is generally paying lip service to the issue of improving the educational system generally and the welfare of teachers and lecturers. For these reasons, strike actions have remained a persisting occurrence, yielding no results.

On duty on religious leaders to protect their followers and treat them humanely

Ezeugo v. State [2013] 9 NWLR (Pt. 1360) 508 at 570 paras. B-C, per Jauro, JCA:

“Before I draw the curtain, I must by way of parenthesis observe that the facts of this case are so miserable, sordid, and morbid, reflecting the moral decay of the age in which we live. The appellant, a religious leader, instead of protecting and guiding his followers, has turned round, brutalising them, setting them ablaze, roasting an innocent soul to death and offering them stone when they desire bread and scorpion when they demand fish. It is indeed sad and unfortunate.”

Blogger’s Note:

At the other end, followers should learn to stop following blindly!

On whether the ICPC Act No. 6 of 2003 as contained in Cap. C31, LFN 2010 is a valid law.

Attorney-General of the Federation v. Chief Anyim Pius Anyim & 3 0rs. Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/225/2003, per Ukeje, J. at 32-34:

  • On whether the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act (ICPC Act) No. 6 of 2003 as contained in Cap. C31, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010 is a valid law:
“I therefore reiterate that the ICPC Act 2003, passed on 7th and 8th of May 2003 by the Defendants respectively without observance of the relevant due process of Law is unconstitutional and void… Meanwhile, and in the final analysis, The Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, as construed and validated by the Supreme Court in the Appeal in a Suit between the Attorney-General of Ondo State and The Attorney-General of the Federation, remains the existing Law on the subject”.

Blogger’s Note:

In Attorney-General of Ondo State v. Attorney-General of the Federation [2002] 9 NWLR (Pt 772) 222; (2013) 1 ICPCLR, 254, although the apex Court struck down Sections 26(3) and 35 of the ICPC Act 2000 as being unconstitutional, it applied the blue-pencil rule to strike them out from the Act and upheld the Act as a valid piece of legislation.