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APPELLATE COURT IS ONLY CONCERNED WITH WHETHER THE DECISION GIVEN IS RIGHT, NOT WHETHER THE REASON IS RIGHT OR WRONG

Dictum

An appellate Court is only concerned with whether the judgment appealed against is right or wrong not whether the reasons given are right or wrong. Where the judgment is right but the reasons given are wrong, the appellate Court does not interfere. It is only where the misdirection has caused the Court to come to a wrong conclusion that the appellate Court will interfere See also Abaye v. Ofili (1986) 1 NWLR (Pt. 15) 134: Ukejianya v. Uchendu 18 WACA 46; Obajimi v. Adeobi (2008) 3 NWLR (Pt. 1075) 1 @ p. 19: Owor v. Christopher (2010) All FWLR (Pt. 511) 962 @ p. 992; Sogbamu v. Odunaiya (2013) All FWLR (Pt. 700) 1249 @ p. 1302; Mini Lodge v. Ngei(2010) All FWLR (Pt. 506) 1806 @ pp. 1820-1821; Saeed v. Yakowa (2013) All FWLR (Pt. 692) 1650 @ p. 1681.

— B.A. Georgewill JCA. Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc V. Longterm Global Capital Limited & Ors. (CA/L/427/2016, 9 Mar 2018)

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COURT OF COORDINATE JURISDICTION CANNOT SET ASIDE ANOTHER COORDINATE COURT DECISION

It needs be reiterated that a Court after the dismissal of a suit before it lacks the competence to delve into the matter any longer. The fact that the Court is being presided over by another judge of the same jurisdiction as the judge that dismissed Suit No. HOY/7/97 does not make any difference. The Court lacks the jurisdiction to re-phrase the judgment, of a Court of co-ordinate and competent jurisdiction.

– M. Peter-Odili JSC. Adegbanke v. Ojelabi (2021)

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A COURT OF RECORDS HAS THE INHERENT POWERS TO SET ASIDE ITS DECISION WHERE

The Supreme Court, and any other superior court of record, possesses inherent power to set aside its judgment in appropriate cases. Such circumstances include: a. When the judgment is obtained by fraud or deceit b. When the judgment is a nullity and a person affected by the order is entitled ex debito justitiae to have it set aside. c. When the court was misled into giving judgment under the mistaken belief that the parties had consented to it. d. Where judgment was given in the absence of jurisdiction. e. Where the procedure adopted was such as to deprive the decision or judgment of the character of a legitimate adjudication. See: Adegoke Motors Ltd. v. Adesanya (1989) 3 NWLR (Pt.109) 250; A.D.H. Ltd. v. Amalgamated Trustees Ltd, (2007) ALL FWLR (Pt.392) 1781 @ 1840 C – F; Alao v. A.C.B. Ltd. (2000) FWLR (Pt. 11) 1858; (2000) 9 NWLR (Pt.672) 264; Igwe v. Kalu (2002) 14 NWLR (Pt.787) 435; Madukolu v. Nkemdilim (1962) SCNLR 341; Obimonure v. Erinosho (1966) All NLR 245.

— K.M.O. Kekere-Ekun JSC. Citec v. Francis (SC.116/2011, 21 February 2014)

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DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT IS PERVERSE IF IT DOES NOT FLOW FROM THE ESTABLISHED FACTS

C.S.S Book Shop Ltd. v. The Regd. Trustees of Muslim Community in Rivers State (2006) 4 SCM 310 “A decision of a Court is perverse when it ignores the facts or evidence adduced and admitted before it and when considered as a whole amount to miscarriage of justice. In such a case, an appellate Court is bound to interfere with such a decision and to set it aside.”

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DECISION OF A COURT OF LAW OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION IS TO BE OBEYED

The true position of the law is that an order of a court whether it is to preserve the status quo or an executory order as such as the instant interim order to restore the name of the 1st respondent in the list of candidates for the aforesaid election clearly being an interim order with a mandatory character cannot be determined simply by looking at the form of the application or cause (from which it is generated) in order conclusively to say whether it is final or interlocutory but has further to be scrutinized from the view point of its intrinsic nature that is to say the nature of the order itself vis-a-vis the rights of the parties in the suit. It is furthermore my view that whether or not the instant order is final or interlocutory does not affect it being all the same a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction to be obeyed.

— C.M. Chukwuma-Eneh, JSC. Kubor v. Dickson (2012) – SC.369/2012

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WHAT IS A DECISION ON MERIT?

TOMTEC NIGERIA LIMITED VS FEDERAL HOUSING AUTHORITY (2009) 12 SCNJ 190 AT 201 -202 where this Court held “A decision on merit is one rendered after argument and investigation and a determination as to which of the parties is in the right as distinguished from a judgment or decision rendered upon some preliminary or formal part or by default and without trial”.

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FINAL VS INTERLOCUTORY DECISIONS: DISTINCTION

In Clement C. Ebokam vs. Ekwenibe & Sons Trading Company Ltd. (1999) 7 SCNJ 77, Kalgo, JSC held at page 87 that: “…Where the decisions of the Court under consideration clearly and wholly disposes of all the rights of the parties in the case, that decision is final. But where the decision only disposes of an issue or issues in the case, leaving the parties to go back to claim other rights in the Court, then that decision is interlocutory. And in order to determine whether the decision is final or interlocutory, the decision must relate to the subject matter in dispute between the parties and not the function of the Court making the order.”

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