Correction of errors in court processes

A party is at liberty to correct errors revealed by a preliminary objection.

Shanu v. Afribank (Nig.) Plc [2000] 13 NWLR (Pt. 684) 392 at 404, para F, per Ayoola, JSC:

“The contention that this application should not be granted because a preliminary objection has been raised showing the errors in the process of the applicant’s appeal is without substance. The applicant is not foreclosed by the preliminary objection from correcting those errors or starting the process afresh on a more appropriate footing.”

Blogger’s Note:

The Court of Appeal relied on the above case in Nabore Properties Ltd. v. Peace-Cover (Nig.) Ltd. [2015] 2 NWLR (Pt. 1444) 440 at 469.

This approach as approved by the Supreme Court is welcome. It is advisable that counsel should take advantage of this and seek to correct errors where necessary except where convinced that the preliminary objection is lacking in substance or that no error indeed arises. It is also important to note that it is only errors capable of being corrected that can be corrected. Certain errors, if incurably bad, can never be remedied. For instance, where the basis of the preliminary objection is that the writ of summons was not signed or was not signed by a legal practitioner known to law, there is hardly any remedy. See Okafor v. Nweke [2007] 10 NWLR (pt. 1043) 521 and FBN v. Maiwada [2013] 5 NWLR (pt. 1348) 444. Both cases and others were discussed in this article.

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