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DRAWING UNINTENDED CONCLUSIONS FROM JUDGES STATEMENTS

Dictum

Sir James Bacon, V.C., said in Green’s Case (1874) L.R. 18 Eq C.A. 428:- “In the judgments which Judges pronounce, this is inevitable, that having their minds full, not only of the cases before them, but of all the principles involved in the cases which have been referred to, it very often happens that a Judge, in stating as much as is necessary to decide the case before him, does not express all that may be said upon the subject. That leaves the judgment open sometimes to misconstruction, and enables ingenious advocates by taking out certain passages, to draw conclusions which the Judge never meant to be drawn from the words he used.”

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IMPORTANCE OF LAWYERS IN THE SOCIETY

DENNING, MR., in Pett v. Grey Hound Racing Association (No. 1) (1968) 2 ALL E.R. 545 at 549: “It is not every man who has the ability to defend himself on his own. He cannot bring out the points in his own favour or the weakness in the other side. He may be tongue-tied, nervous, confused or (even) wanting in intelligence. He cannot examine or cross-examine witnesses. We see it every day! A magistrate says to a man: You can ask any questions you like, whereupon the man immediately starts to make speech. If justice is to be done, he ought to have the help of someone to speak for him, and who better than a lawyer who has been trained for the task?”

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COUNSEL SHOULD NOT MANUFACTURE FACTS IN COURT

Learned counsel should refrain from manufacturing facts to suit the interest of his client. As a minister in the Temple of Justice, counsel should always be guided by raw facts as disclosed by the evidence before the Court. To be forewarned is to be forearmed, learned counsel should heed to this advice against the future....

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COUNSEL SHOULD DRAW COURT’S ATTENTION TO PREVIOUS DECISION

However, learned Counsel for the Respondent failed to draw the attention of the Court to this previous decision. Clearly, he had a duty in law to do so; see Global Trans. S.A. v. Free Enter. (Nig.) Ltd. (2001) 5 NWLR (Pt.706) 426 where it was stated that it is the duty of Counsel to draw the Court’s attention to previous decision of the Court on the same subject matter.

— I.E. Ekwo, J. Daudu v FIRS (2023) – FHC/ABJ/TA/1/2021

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WHERE WITNESS DEPOSITION IS SIGNED IN A LAWYER’S OFFICE

Under cross-examination, DW3 admitted that he signed his deposition in the chambers of his counsel. However, there is no evidence before me that DW3 did not present himself before the Commissioner for Oaths to be sworn. The name and signature of the Commissioner for Oaths is on the deposition together with the date it was sworn. There is therefore a presumption of regularity in the statement on oath by virtue of Section 168 of the Evidence Act 2011. See Auta v Olaniyi [2004] 4 NWLR (Pt 863) 394.

— O.A. Obaseki-Osaghea, J. Akinsete v Westerngeco (2014) – NICN/LA/516/2012

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LAWYERS VS POLITICIANS: MASTERS OF THE LAW VS MASTERS OF THE GAME

While lawyers pride themselves as masters of the law, the Politicians are master game planners and they would never give up unless and until either they realize their desire to ‘serve their people’ or the Apex Court in an appeal before them tell the Politicians with finality that it is all over, then they would...

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WHERE COUNSEL ABSENT, BRIEF WILL BE DEEMED ADOPTED

The Respondent’s Brief of Argument dated and filed on 3rd November, 2020, which was settled by Adedotun Ishola Osobu Esq, was deemed adopted pursuant to Order 19 Rule 9(4) of the Court of Appeal Rules, 2016. — A.B. Mohammed, JCA. ITDRLI v NIMC (2021) – CA/IB/291/2020 Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No 0...

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