Adjournment to explore amicable settlement is allowed

It has been judicially endorsed that litigants are free to seek adjournment in order to explore amicable settlement.

Salihu v. Ministry of Education, Gombe State [2017] 3 NWLR (Pt. 1551) 124 at 133, paras. D-F, per Husaini, JCA:

“Application by litigants seeking as it were an adjournment to explore out-of-court settlement should not be taken with levity but given due consideration that it deserves being one of the cardinal principles in our adjudicative process. Muntaka-Commasie, J.S.C. put the matter succinctly in Star Paper Mill Ltd. & Anor v. Bashiru Adetunji & Ors. (2009) 13 NWLR (Pt. 1159) 647 when he observed thus at page 659 paras. F-G that: “It must be pointed out that it is one of the cardinal principles of our judicial system to allow parties to amicably resolve the disputes between them. By doing so, the otherwise hostile relationship between the parties would be amicably resolved and cemented…”

Blogger’s Note:

In the above case, the trial Court declined jurisdiction and struck out the Appellant’s suit. On appeal to the Court of Appeal, parties asked for an adjournment to enable them explore amicable settlement. Upon a successful report of settlement, the Court of Appeal unanimously entered the terms as Consent Judgment. In its Judgment, the Court of Appeal also referred to Order 16 Rules 3(a) and 4 of the Court of Appeal Rules which provides for the Court of Appeal mediation programme. See the Rules here.
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