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PERSON MAY HAVE STANDING TO SUE YET DISABLED

Dictum

Locus standi which simply means capacity or standing of a claimant to institute an action by more than one person. A person may have the standing to sue, yet have his suit disabled by the procedure he has adopted.

— A.B. Mohammed, JCA. ITDRLI v NIMC (2021) – CA/IB/291/2020

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WHO IS A VICTIM IN INTERNATIONAL LAW? – (ECOWAS Court)

In essence; “A victim is anyone who suffers individual or collective harm (or pain) such as physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss, or generally any impairment of human rights as a result of acts or omissions that constitute gross violations of human rights, or serious violations of humanitarian law norms.” See The Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Survivors of Violations of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, GA RES 60/147, PMBL, SEC IX, UN DOC A/RES/60/147 (MARCH 21, 2006).

— The Registered Trustees of Jama’a FOUNDATION v FRN ECW/CCJ/JUD/04/20 para. 65

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DECIDING WHETHER A CLAIMANT HAS LOCUS STANDI

Having held as above, what is the position of the law on the issue of locus standi? In law, deciding whether a Claimant has the requisite locus standi is a function of whether the claim he makes has disclosed his sufficient interest in the subject matter and to determine this it is the averments of the Claimant in his pleadings that the Court has to look at and critically examine to see if it discloses his interest sufficient enough to clothe him with the requisite locus standi to sue.

— 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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AN INDIVIDUAL CAN BRING AN ACTION ON BEHALF OF A CLOSE RELATIVE – (ECOWAS Court)

An individual can bring an action on behalf of another only when Applicant is a close relation of a victim of violation of human rights. Following from the above, the Court holds that another teleological interpretation is that individuals who are not direct victims can ground an action before the Court if they are relation of the direct victim of violation of human rights. — The Registered Trustees of Jama’a FOUNDATION v FRN ECW/CCJ/JUD/04/20 para. 66

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AN INTERVENER’S INTEREST IN AN ACTION

para. 34: “In general, “interest in an action” is appreciated with reference to the orders sought in the applications of an Intervener possessing an interest in the resolution of the dispute submitted to the court, and when these orders have no other purpose than to support or reject the order by another party.”

Ugokwe v FRN (2005) – ECW/CCJ/JUD/03/05

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WHAT IS LOCUS STANDI?

Locus standi , which is a Latin word simply means a place of standing. It is the legal right of a party to an action to be heard in Litigation before the Court or Tribunal. The term denotes, the right of a party to institute an action in a Court of Law or seek judicial enforcement of a duty. See Senator Adesanya vs. President FRN (1981) 5 SC 112, Adesolakan Vs. Adegbo vs. A. G, Lagos State (2012) All FWLR (Pt 631) 1522. Locus standi thus, entails the legal capacity of instituting or commencing an action in a competent Court of Law without any inhibition, obstruction or hindrance from any person or body whatsoever. Whenever a person’s Locus to sue is in issue, as in this appeal, the question is really whether the person whose standing is in issue, is the proper person to request an adjudication over the dispute he has brought for adjudication. The issue at this stage, is whether the Plaintiff or the person whose locus is challenged, has disclosed sufficient interest in the dispute or the subject matter of the dispute.

— A.A. Wambai, JCA. Skye Bank v. Haruna & Ors. (CA/K/264/2011, 17th December, 2014)

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CRITERIA TO HAVE LOCUS STANDI

It is the law that to have locus standi to sue, the plaintiff must show sufficient interest in the suit or matter. One criterion of sufficient interest is whether the party could have been joined as a party in the suit. Another criterion is whether the party seeking the redress or remedy will suffer some injury or hardship arising from the litigation. If the Judge is satisfied that he will so suffer, then he must be heard as he is entitled to be heard. See Chief Ojukwu v. Governor of Lagos State (1985) 2 NWLR (Pl. 10) 806; Busari v. Oseni (1992) 4 NWLR (Pt. 237) 557; Albian Construction Co Ltd. v. Rao Investment and Property Ltd. (1992) 1 NWLR (pt. 219) 583; United Bank for Africa Ltd. v. Obianwu (1999) 12 NWLR (Pt. 629) 78 … A party who is in imminent danger of any conduct of the adverse party has the locus standi to commence an action. See Olawoyin v. Attorney-General of Northern Region (1961) 1 All NLR 269; Gamioba v. Ezesi (1961) 1 All NLR 584; Olagunju v. Yahaya (1998) 3 NWLR (Pt. 542) 501.

— Niki Tobi, JSC. Pam & Anor. V Mohammed (2008) – SC.238/2007

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