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CONFLICT BETWEEN SUPREME COURT DECISION AND THAT OF COURT OF APPEAL, SUPREME COURT WILL PREVAIL

Dictum

Under the rules of precedent or stare decisis it is the judgment of the Supreme Court as the final appellate court that should be binding on the Court of Appeal. Thus where there is a conflict between the Supreme Court’s decision and that of the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court’s decision should prevail and be binding on the Court of Appeal or any other court, notwithstanding any error in the former.

— Adeyemo v. Ida & Ors. (1998) – CA/1/6/92

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APPELLATE COURT IS MORE CONCERNED WITH THE DECISION REACHED THAN THE REASONS GIVEN

It is the law that an appellate Court will not interfere once the conclusion reached by a trial Court is correct, since an appellate Court is more concerned with the conclusion reached than with the reason adduced, more so where as in the instant appeal the reason which is the pathway to the above correct conclusion or finding is also perfectly correct.

– B.A. Georgewill, JCA. Ganiyu v. Oshoakpemhe & Ors. (2021) – CA/B/12A/2021

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DECISION OF COURT WHICH APPEARS SUBSTANTIALLY REGULAR IS PRESUMED TO BE CORRECT

The duty of every appellant is to show and or establish that the decision he has appealed was wrong or unreasonable. Every decision of a Court of law, a judicial act, done in a manner substantially regular is presumed to be correct and that formal requisites for its validity were complied with. The presumption of regularity under Section 167(1) of the Evidence Act, 2011 is all about this.

— E. Eko, JSC. Kassim v. State (2017) – SC.361/2015

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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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COURT BASES HER DECISION ON FACTS ONLY

The tribunal or court must base its conclusion on the facts before it and nothing but the facts. The tribunal or court cannot introduce facts not before it. The tribunal or court must confine itself to the facts before it. It has no jurisdiction to read into the Record facts not presented by the parties. It cannot also read out of the record facts presented by the parties. It seems I am repeating myself. Repetition is, at times, useful for emphasis and so be it.

— Niki Tobi, JSC. Buhari v. INEC (2008) – SC 51/2008

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WHEN THE SUPREME COURT WILL DEPART FROM HIS EARLIER DECISION

As departure from a decision of a court or overruling a decision of a court is a very major judicial exercise, which if done often will ruin or jeopardise the stable rules of judicial precedent, and particularly the rules of stare decisis, courts of law, even the highest court of the land, will not yield to the invitation of counsel just for the asking, in the sense that the case sought to be overruled is not in favour of the party. In asking for a case to be overruled, the party should take into account or consideration, the totality of the decision, meaning that the ratio decidendi must be considered along with the facts of the case. The party should also make a distinction, if any, in the case between a ratio decidendi and an obiter dictum. If a party’s worry is an obiter dictum, a court of law will not depart from its earlier judgment or overrule it because obiter does not ipso facto have or possess any force in the judgment. And when I say this I am not ignorant of the law that obiter dictum of this Court followed by this Court in certain instances could ripen into a ratio decidendi by frequent adoption.

— Niki Tobi, JSC. Buhari v. INEC (2008) – SC 51/2008

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DECISION NOT FLOWING FROM ESTABLISHED FACTS IS PERVERSE

In law, a decision or finding or conclusion reached is perverse amongst other grounds if it does not flow from the established facts from the evidence before the Court or it takes into consideration matters extraneous to the issues placed before the Court in evidence by the parties.

– B.A. Georgewill, JCA. Ganiyu v. Oshoakpemhe & Ors. (2021) – CA/B/12A/2021

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