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WHERE A MOTION SEEKS TO TERMINATE VS ONE SEEKING TO CURE DEFECT

Dictum

It is pertinent to observe that there is an order of precedence for hearing motions or applications before the court. Where a motion or application seeks to terminate an action on account of irregularity and the other one seeks to cure the defect, it is the duty of the court to hear the later first see:- Nalsa and Team Associates v. N.N.P.C. (1991) 11 SCNJ 5; Consortium M.C. 3632, Lot 4 Nigeria v. National Electric Power Authority (1991) 7 SCNJ 1.

— Opene JCA. United Bank for Africa (UBA) v. Samuel Igelle Ujor (CA/C/134/99, 20 FEB 2001)

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COURT MUST RULE ON ALL APPLICATIONS BEFORE IT

In Ani V. Nna & Ors. (1996) 4 NWLR (Pt.440) 101 @ p. 120, this Court had per Niki Tobi JCA., succinctly observed inter alia thus: “A Court of law and indeed a Court of equity has neither jurisdiction nor discretionary power not to take a process before it, whatever may be its pre-trial opinion on it. The process may be a downright abuse of the judicature as an institution or judicialism. It may be stupid, reckless, irregular, aberrant or unmeritorious; the Court must hear it and rule on it.”

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WHERE COUNSEL SAYS THERE IS MOTION FOR APPEAL, BUT MOTION NOT BEFORE JUDGE

What the appellant’s counsel said was that they could not proceed because it is impossible for them to go on without the amendment and that there is an appeal and that they wanted the case to be stood down. Where a counsel says that there is a notice of appeal and a motion for stay of proceedings, the only option for the trial court is to stand down the case so that it could be checked at the court registry if there is notice of appeal and a motion for stay of proceedings. If there is a motion for stay of proceedings, it is incumbent on the trial court to take the motion and it is after he had refused the application that he can call on the defence to go on with their defence.

— Opene JCA. United Bank for Africa (UBA) v. Samuel Igelle Ujor (CA/C/134/99, 20 FEB 2001)

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MOTION THAT SAVES PROCEEDING SHOULD BE HEARD FIRST

It is a settled principle of practice that where there are two motions before the court requiring to be heard, the interest of justice demands that the motion, the determination of which would save the substantive action, should first be heard. See Abiegbe and 2 ors. v. Ugbodume (1973) 1 ALL NLR 52; (1973) 1 SC 133; Nalsa and Team Associates v. N.N.P.C. (1991) 8 NWLR (Pt. 212) 652 at 676; Long John v. Black (1998) 6 NWLR (Pt. 555) 524 at 550.

— Edozie JCA. United Bank for Africa (UBA) v. Samuel Igelle Ujor (CA/C/134/99, 20 FEB 2001)

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APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME MUST BE BACKED UP BY GOOD AND SUBSTANTIAL REASONS

By the provisions of Order 2 Rule 31 of the Supreme Court Rules both facts in the affidavit, i.e. good and substantial reasons for failure to appeal within the prescribed period; and grounds of appeal which prima facie show good cause why the appeal should be heard must co-exist for the application to succeed. An application for extension of time to appeal would succeed no matter how long after it is brought provided there are good and substantial reasons for the delay. Once a genuine ground on jurisdiction is the reason for the appeal, good and substantial reasons for the delay are no longer necessary.

— O. Rhodes-Vivour, JSC. Francis v. FRN (2020) – SC.810/2014

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A COURT IS BOUND TO RESOLVE ALL APPLICATIONS BEFORE IT

It is trite that when a matter is before a court, that court is bound to hear and determine all applications or issues brought or raised before it by litigants: Atanda v. Ajani (1989) 3 NWLR (Pt. 111) 511; Brawal Shipping (Nig.) Ltd v. Onwadike Co. Ltd (2000) FWLR (Pt. 23) 1254, (2000) 79 LRCN 2348 SC.

— Danjuma, JCA. Tony Anthony Nig. Ltd & Ors. v. NDIC (CA/L/630/2009 • 25 January 2011)

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