Contempt proceedings

The Court of Appeal has a duty to pronounce on other issues where it holds that the trial court lacked jurisdiction.

Katto v. Central Bank of Nigeria [1991] 9 NWLR (Pt. 214) 126 at 149, paras. G-H, per Akpata, JSC:

“Where a trial court after holding that it had jurisdiction proceeded to determine the matter before it and an intermediate Court of Appeal thinks the trial court lacked jurisdiction, the said intermediate court should in the alternative resolve the complaints in the appeal unless both counsel, particularly respondent’s counsel, concede that the trial court lacked jurisdiction in the matter. While the Supreme Court, being the final court of appeal, can afford not to pronounce on other issues placed before it where it finds that the trial court lacked jurisdiction, the Court of Appeal whose stance on jurisdiction may be faulted by the Supreme Court should not ignore other issues raised in the appeal. It should pronounce on them.”

Blogger’s Note:

The above dictum was restated in NIPOL Ltd. v. Bioku Investments & Prop. Co. Ltd. [1992] 3 NWLR (Pt. 232) 727 at 747, per Akpata, JSC. See also Olagbenro v. Olayiwola [2014] 17 NWLR (Pt.1436) 313 at 368-369 where the above decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal, per Uwa, JCA.
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