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NO LAW MAKES PARTY APPEARANCE IN COURT MANDATORY

Dictum

Instructively, there is no law making it compulsory for a party in a civil action to appear physically in Court. All that is necessarily required, in the best interest of good administration of justice, is that the day to day judicial schedule (Cause List) of the Court is not stultified or frustrated by non-appearance of a party before it.

– I.M.M. Saulawa JCA. Owhor v. Obodo (2020) – CA/PH/448/2017

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CLIENT’S CASE MAY DEPEND ON THE QUALITY OF THE BRIEF

Counsel will do well to remember that the fate of his client’s case may well depend on the persuasive quality of his brief. The Brief is defined in Order 6, Rule 5 of the 1985 Rules as “a succinct statement of his argument in the appeal.” A mere statement of the argument is contrary to the intendment of the rule and therefore not enough.

– Nnaemeka-Agu, JSC. Adejumo v. Ayantegbe (1989)

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IT IS DUTY OF PARTIES TO PUT THEIR FACTS BEFORE THE COURT

It is not for this Court to embark on an investigation to which it has not been called. It is the duty of the parties to put their facts before the courts in order for a judicial decision to be pronounced, both on the facts and the law involved.

– Sowemimo, JSC. Shodeinde v. Ahmadiyya (1983) – SC.64/1982

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PROPER, DESIRABLE, NECESSARY, PARTIES

Proper parties are those who, though not interested in the Plaintiffs claim, are made parties for some good reasons e.g. where an action is brought to rescind a contract, any person is a proper party to it who was active or concurring in the matters which gave the plaintiff the right to rescind. Desirable those who have an interest or who may be affected by the result. Necessary parties are those who are not only interested in the subject-matter of the proceedings but also who in their absence, the proceedings could not be fairly dealt with. In other words the question to be settled in the action between the existing parties must be a question which cannot be properly settled unless they are parties to the action instituted by the plaintiff.

– Oputa, JSC. Green v. Green (1987)

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A PERSON WHO CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE UNDER A CONTRACT CAN SUE

There is authority for the proposition that a person who can take advantage of a contract can sue on it, even if no consideration has moved from him: See Smith and Snipes Hall Farm v. River Douglas Catchment Board (1949) 2 K.B. 500, p.517; Drive Yourself Hire Co. (London) Ltd. V. Strutt (1954)1 Q.B. 250, pp. 271-275.

– Nnaemeka-Agu, JSC. Adejumo v. Ayantegbe (1989)

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COURT CANNOT GIVE PARTY THAT WHICH HE DID NOT CLAIM

Badmus v. Abegunde (1999) 11 NWLR (Pt. 627) 493, Onu, J.S.C. observed: “It is trite law that the court is without power to award to a claimant that which he did not claim. This principle of law has time and again, been stated and re-stated by this court that it seems to me that there is no longer any need to cite authorities in support of it. We take the view that the proposition of the law is not only good law but good sense. A court of law may award less, and not more than what the parties have claimed. A fortiori, the court should never award that which was not claimed or pleaded by either party. It should always be borne in mind that a Court of Law is not a charitable institution, its duty in civil cases is to render unto every one according to his proven claim.”

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WHO ARE THE PARTIES IN A LEGAL PROCEEDING

In legal proceedings the parties, generally speaking, are the persons whose names appear on the record as plaintiffs or defendants.

– Oputa, JSC. Green v. Green (1987)

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