Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

ROLES OF TRIAL COURT AND THAT OF COURT OF APPEAL

Dictum

What was the Tribunal’s treatment of the witnesses and their evidence as placed before it? Before embarking on the exercise, I shall, firstly, remind myself of the role of this Court. Trial Courts, as their name suggests, try cases. To them belongs the reception of evidence. (Appellate Courts receive evidence only in exceptional cases and circumstances), the evaluation of such evidence, the issue of credibility or otherwise of witnesses adducing such evidence and the making of findings of fact based most times on the credibility of the witnesses – all these are matters peculiarly and comfortably in the exclusive province of the Court that sees, hears, matches and believes. See Chief Frank Ebba vs. Chief Wani Ogodo (1984) 4 S.C. 84 at Pp. 98/99; (1984) 1 SCNLR 372. It is quite a different matter when it is a matter of what inference or deduction to make from facts either as admitted or as found. In such a situation the Court of Appeal is in as a good a position as or even better than the trial court. See Benmax vs. Austin Motors (1955) A.C. 370 at p. 375.

— Nsofor, JCA. Ugo v Indiamaowei (1999) – CA/PH/EP/97/99

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

COURT IS NOT RESTRICTED TO AUTHORITIES CITED BY PARTIES

It is to be said loud and clear that a Court of law has no legal duty to confine itself only to authorities cited by parties. It can, in an effort to improve its Judgment rely on authorities not cited by parties. The Court is also under no duty to give notice to the parties that it intends to use a particular book or authority.

– M. Peter-Odili JSC. Adegbanke v. Ojelabi (2021)

Was this dictum helpful?

SENTIMENT HAS NO PLACE IN OUR COURTS

If I go by sentiments, having regard to the facts of this case leading to this appeal and as appear in the lead Judgment of my learned brother, Oguntade, J.S.C., I may be inclined to allow this appeal. But it is now firmly settled, that sentiments, have no place in our courts including this court. See the cases of Ezeugo v. Ohanyere (1978) 6-7 S.C. 171 @ 184; Omote & Sons Ltd. v. Adeyemo & 9 ors. (1994) 4 NWLR (Pt.336) 48 C.A. and Orhue v. NEPA (1998) 7 NWLR (Pt.557) 107; (1998) 5 SCNJ 126@ 141.

— Ogbuagu, JSC. Grosvenor v Halaloui (2009) – SC.373/2002

Was this dictum helpful?

JUDGEMENT OF COURT REMAINS VALID UNTIL SET ASIDE; COURT OF COORDINATE JURISDICTION CANNOT SET ASIDE COORDINATE COURT JUDGEMENT

It is now settled firstly, that a judgment or order of a court of competent jurisdiction, remain valid and effective, unless it is set aside by an appeal court or by the lower court itself if it found that it acted without jurisdiction. See the cases of Ogueze v. Ojiako (1962),SCNLR 112; (1962) 11 All NLR 58 at 61; Williams v. Sanusi (1961) All NLR 334 at 337; Odiase v. Agbo (1972) 1 All NLR (Pt.1) 170 at 176; Melifonwu v. Egbuyi (1982) 9 SC 145; Ajao v. Alao (1986) 5 NWLR (Pt. 45) 802 at 823 and many others. Secondly, in the absence of statutory authority or except where the judgment or order is a nullity, one Judge, has no power, to set aside or vary the order of another Judge of concurrent and co-ordinate jurisdiction. See the cases of Amanabu v. Okafor (1966) 1 All NLR 205 at 207; Okorodudu v. Ejuetami (1967) NMLR 282 at 283; Akporue & Anor v. Okei (1973) 12 SC 137; Uku v. Okumagba (1974)1 All NLR (Pt. 1)475; Wimpey(Nig.)Ltd. v. Balogun (1986) 3 NWLR (Pt. 28) 324 at 331 and Orthopaedic Hospital Management Board v. B. B. Apugo & Sons Ltd. (1990) 1 NWLR (Pt.129) 652 at 657 just to mention but a few. The rationale or reason for this, is because, it is now firmly established that there is only one High Court in a State.

— I.F. Ogbuagu, JSC. Witt Ltd. v Dale Power (2007) – SC.240/2000

Was this dictum helpful?

JUDICIAL POWERS SHALL EXTEND TO ALL PERSONS

ALH. WAHAB ODEYALE & ANR. V. ALH. HAMMED OLAPADE BABATUNDE & ORS. (2009) – CA/I/106/2006:
“In my considered view, the constitutional provisions is very clear and unambiguous, and there is need for the court to give its ordinary meaning without any sort of ambiguity. That jurisdiction given to the courts shall extend to all matters between persons or between government or authority and to any person in Nigeria and to all actions and proceedings relating thereto for the determination of any question as to the civil rights and obligations.”

PER ISTIFANUS THOMAS, J.C.A.

Was this dictum helpful?

COURT CANNOT GRANT MORE THAN A PARTY SEEKS FOR

It is revealed by the record and the pleadings filed by the Respondent that the relief sought by the Appellant was not contested at all. Thus, parties are bound by their pleadings. It is elementary that a Court is bound by the reliefs sought. The generosity or charity of a Court of law is confined strictly to the reliefs sought to the extent that a Court of law cannot give a party what he did not claim. That is completely outside our procedural law. The rationale behind this is that a party who comes to Court knows where the shoe pinches him and therefore knows the limits of what he wants. The Court, as an unbiased umpire, cannot claim to know the reliefs better than the party. See Per Tobi, JSC, in EAGLE SUPER PACK (NIGERIA) LTD V. ACB PLC (2006) 19 NWLR (PT 1013) 20 or (2006) LPELR (980) 1 AT 40.

— U.M. Abba Aji, JSC. Cappa v NDIC (2021) – SC.147/2006

Was this dictum helpful?

SECTION 12 OF THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT ACT PERMITS THE COURT TO BE FLEXIBLE

The very first thing a labour court understands is the difficulty of the employee accessing documents to prove his/her case. It is as a result of all of this that the NIC, as a special Court, is permitted under section 12 of the NIC Act 2006 to be flexible, informal and depart from the Evidence Act if the interest of justice so demands. The NIC realizes that section 12 of its enabling Act is not license to act anyhow. So when it comes to admissibility of especially documentary evidence, the NIC insists that once the issue of authenticity is raised, particular care must be taken to admit only documents that are authentic; and in deserving cases the NIC had refused to admit inappropriate documents even when section 12 of the NIC Act was relied on.

— B.B. Kanyip, J. Awogu v TFG Real Estate (2018) – NICN/LA/262/2013

Was this dictum helpful?

No more related dictum to show.