Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

COUNSEL FIRST DUTY IS TO THE COURT

Dictum

Learned counsel, as officers in the temple of justice have a sacred duty to assist the court to do substantial justice in any matter before it. His first duty is to the court. The second to his client. It is almost five years to the day since the ruling complained of was delivered. Precious judicial time and resources have been wasted pursuing technicalities.

– Kekere-Ekun JCA. Adewoyin v. Executive Governor (2011)

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

THE RATIONALE FOR LAWYER-CLIENT PRIVILEGE

The general principle on which the above statutory provision is grounded is as stated by Holden J in the case of Iris Winifred Horn v. Robert Rickard (1963) NLR 67 at 68 or (1963) 2 All NLR 40 at 41 as follows: “Every client is entitled to feel safe when making disclosures to his solicitor or counsel, and there are cases establishing firmly that counsel cannot be called to give any evidence which would infringe the client’s privilege of secrecy.”

Was this dictum helpful?

PROCESS SIGNED BY A FIRM OF LEGAL PRACTITIONERS IS NOT VALID IN LAW

The said section 573(1) of Companies and Allied Matters Act Provides as follows:- ‘Every individual firm or corporation having a place of business in Nigeria and carrying on business under a business name shall be registered in the manner provided in this part of this Act The above is not an authority that can be relied upon to uphold the view that a process signed and filed by a firm of legal practitioners which has no live is valid in law. The general provision of the law as in section 573(1) of Companies and Allied Matters Act is subject to the specific provisions of section 2(1) and 24 of the Legal Practitioners Act. See: FMBN v. Olloh (2002) 4 SC (Pt. 11) 177 at 122-123; Kraps Thompson Org.v. NIPSS (2004) 5 SC (Pt.1) 16 at 20-21.

— J.A. Fabiyi, JSC. FBN v. Maiwada (2012) – SC.269/2005

Was this dictum helpful?

CONVENIENCE OF COUNSEL SHOULD HAVE NO PREEMINENCE OVER THE DICTATE OF THE LAW

The convenience of counsel should have no pre-eminence over the dictate of the law. The law as enacted should be followed. I do not for one moment see any valid reason why the decision of this court in Okafor v. Nweke should be revisited. It has come to stay and legal practitioners should reframe their minds to live by it for due accountability and responsibility on their part and for the due protection of our profession.

— J.A. Fabiyi, JSC. FBN v. Maiwada (2012) – SC.269/2005

Was this dictum helpful?

APPEAL TO SET ASIDE COST AWARDED AGAINST COUNSEL SHOULD PROVIDE TENABLE REASON

Before I round off, learned senior counsel for the Appellant has urged this court to set aside the costs of #5 million awarded against J.O. Olotu, Esq, counsel who settled the Appellant’s brief at the lower court. Without belabouring the point, let me state clearly that the Appellant has not placed before this court, any tenable reason or argument why the lower court’s order as to costs should be set aside or interfered with. Hence, the Appellant’s prayer in that regard is refused.

— A. Jauro, JSC. PDP v INEC (2023) – SC/CV/501/2023

Was this dictum helpful?

COURT CANNOT QUESTION COUNSEL ON INSTRUCTION TO ACT FOR CLIENT

Again, a Court lacks jurisdiction to look into whether or not a counsel has instruction or briefing of his client to appear in Court. See State V Mathew (2018) 9 NWLR (Pt. 1625) 399, 412. It is only the party that is being represented by counsel that can question the representation.

– Ekanem JCA. C.O.P. v. Doolor (2020) – CA/MK/182/2017

Was this dictum helpful?

No more related dictum to show.