Court order should not contain etc

It is improper for an order of court to contain “etc”.

Ezeadukwa v. Maduka [1997] 8 NWLR (Pt. 518) 635 at 668, paras. E-F, per Tobi, JCA (of blessed memory):

“…An order of a court must be precise, succinct and to the minutest detail. An order of a court must also be complete. Parties should not be exposed to speculations as to the real content of the order. The abbreviation etc mean et cetera. It is a Latin phrase meaning “and the rest” and something in addition. A judge should never make an order wearing a cognomen of “etc”. It is too vague, lacking restraint and therefore not useful in an order of a court…”

Blogger’s Note:

In making the above pronouncement, the learned Justice of the Court of Appeal came hard on the trial Judge for also making contradictory statements in the order of court.
In practice, court orders may very well emanate from an application or motion filed by an applicant (interim or interlocutory orders) or from a final judgment delivered in a suit upon a determination of the case on the merits. Although, in making its order, a court has a duty to strictly confine itself to the terms of an application brought before it (See Fadlallah v. Arewa Text. Ltd. [1997] 8 NWLR (Pt. 518) 546 at 559), however, the court should be mindful of the above position in making any order and also be ready to discountenance any motion containing vague prayers. On the other hand, counsel should endeavour to avoid the use of vague terms such as “etc” in filing applications in court.
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