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CONSOLIDATION OF SUIT DOES NOT DESTROY THEIR SEPARATE EXISTENCE

Dictum

It is trite law that the consolidation of two or more suits does not destroy the separate existence of the consolidated suits and fuse them into one suit. In spite of the consolidation, they remain distinct with separate existence and must be determined separately. The purpose of the consolidation is to avoid multiplication of trials on the same set of facts and issues and determine the suits in a single trial on the same facts and issues to save time and costs.

– E.A. Agim, JCA. Ogidi v. Okoli [2014] – CA/AK/130/2012

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ONLY PARTY WHO FILED SUIT CAN APPLY FOR RE-LISTMENT OF THE SUIT

It is the plaintiff. It is only the plaintiff who filed the suit that was struck out that can apply for the relistment of the suit. The defendants have no right to apply for its relistment, since they did not file the suit- If the defendants had filed a counter claim to the plaintiff’s claim and both had been struck out, the defendants can apply to relist only the counter claim.

– E.A. Agim, JCA. Ogidi v. Okoli [2014] – CA/AK/130/2012

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TIME STOPS RUNNING FROM THE FILING OF AN ACTION

Nonetheless, I am of the humble view that the postulation of the learned author relied on by the learned trial judge to the effect that time ceases to run when the Plaintiff commences legal proceedings in respect of a cause of the action in question is quite persuasive on this recondite area of law and it accords with justice and common sense. Where an aggrieved person commences an action within the period prescribed by the statute and such action is subsequently struck out for one reason or the other without being heard on the merit or subjected to an outright dismissal, such action is still open to be recommenced at the instance of the Claimant and the limitation period shall not count during the pendency of the earlier suit. In order words, computation of time during the pendency of an action shall remain frozen from the filing of the action until it is determined or abates.

– Oseji, JCA. SIFAX v. MIGFO (2015)

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FAILURE TO ESTABLISH PAYMENT OF FILING FEE IS FATAL TO THE PROCEEDING

As in keeping with the tradition and procedure, we have a duty to consider the preliminary objection, first, being a threshold issue: I must observe that the Respondent, in raising the preliminary objection in the Respondent’s brief, admitted that he failed to file a prior Notice of the Preliminary Objection as envisaged by Order 10 Rule 1 of this Court’s Rules, 2011, thus, the objection being caught by the virus of incompetence, as seen in the various decisions of this Court and of the Apex Court to the effect that failure to establish payment for filing a process (to activate it) is fatal to the objection, except filing fee was waived or ordered to be paid, belatedly. (See Moyosore vs. Gov. of Kwara State (2012)5 NWLR (Pt. 1293) 242; Garba vs. Ummuani (2012) LPELR – 9814(CA) (2013)12 WRN 76; Menakaya vs. Menakaya (1994)5 NWLR (Pt. 345)512; NEPA vs. ANGO (2001)15 NWLR (Pt.737)627; GTB PLC vs. Fadco Industries Nig. Ltd & Anor. (2013) LPELR – 21411 (CA) This Court had, however, ordered the Respondent to pay the requisite filing fees (at the close, of the hearing) for the preliminary objection, as a condition for the consideration of the same by this Court. Of course, he did.

— I.G. Mbaba, JCA. Okorie v Chukwu [2014] – CA/OW/35/2012

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PRIVATE & STATE PROSECUTION OF CRIMINAL CASES ARE UNKNOWN TO OUR LAWS

I cannot on close examination of the text of the two subsections, discover any limitation of the protection granted to protection of the freedom from unfair hearing against the action of the state unless every person or authority performing quasi-judicial function is regarded as the State. Private prosecutions and state prosecutions of criminal cases are not unknown under our law. Similarly, institution of civil actions are not confined to private persons. Governments and other authorities are known to file civil claims in our courts. Indeed, the judicial powers vested in the courts by section 6 of the Constitution has been defined in subsection 6(b) as extending to all matters between persons, or between government or authority and any person in Nigeria and to all actions and proceedings relating thereto for the determination of any questions as to the civil rights and obligations of that person.

– Andrews Otutu Obaseki, JSC. Garba & Ors. v. The University Of Maiduguri (1986) 1 NWLR (Pt.18) 550

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PLAINTIFF IS AT LIBERTY TO SUE ANY HE WANTS SUED

The final point I will like to make is that it was the Plaintiff/Appellant who brought this action. He ignited the jurisdiction of the Court. Why did he not sue all the parties (Jeky Green House of Bonny, Solomon M.D. Green and the Bonny Council of Chiefs) – that his learned counsel now claims – should have been joined One of the answers is that a plaintiff is perfectly free and at liberty to sue whom he conceives had injured him and whom therefore he has a cause of action against.

– Oputa, JSC. Green v. Green (1987)

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