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MEANING AND NATURE OF ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY

Dictum

Where a counsel after adoption of counsel’s Written Address discovers new judicial authorities applicable to the issues canvassed, the counsel shall send the new judicial authorities to the Court and the opposing counsel. The opposing counsel shall have right of re-action. The new judicial authorities referred to here do not include statutory provisions as the defendant did in terms of its third part of the “Additional Authorities”. Secondly, the new judicial authorities referred to by Order 45 Rule 5 are simply the judicial authorities, not another address masquerading as new judicial authorities. This means that new judicial authorities must be either in their raw state or simply listed out. The best counsel can do is to simply state as to what point/issue each new judicial authority is meant to support. Anything beyond this is simply having another bite at the cherry when addresses should have been closed. Lastly, as the words imply, “new judicial authorities” means authorities that are new — authorities that could not have been known as at the time of filing the written address(es). For the defendant to send as “new judicial authorities”, 1987, 2009, 2010 and 2014 authorities as additional authorities after filing its written address does not meet the meaning, import and spirit of Order 45 Rule 5 of the NICN Rules. This is wrong of counsel for the defendant or any counsel for that matter and must not be repeated.

— B.B. Kanyip J. FG v. ASUU (2023) – NICN/ABJ/270/2022

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EACH CASE IS ONLY AN AUTHORITY FOR WHAT IT DECIDES

Let me emphasise here, and it is important to always bear in mind that the decision of a court must always be considered in the light of its own peculiar facts and circumstances. No one case is identical to another though they may be similar. Thus, each case is only an authority for what it...

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FOREIGN AUTHORITIES WILL NOT APPLY WHERE CONTRARY TO OUR JUDGMENTS

I should not be misunderstood as saying that foreign decisions, including Indian authorities cannot be used by this court. No, that is not the point I am making. Foreign decisions will continue to be useful in the expansion of the frontiers of our jurisprudence but this court cannot invoke such decisions where it thinks they...

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UNNECESSARY ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY

Hotel & Personal Services Senior Staff Association v. Ikeja Hotels Plc submitted as “additional authority” for the proposition that originating processes are the determinant of a court’s jurisdiction is rather unhelpful to the defendant. The claimant in that case came by way of a complaint, not a referral as is the case in the instant suit. The long and short of it is that what the defendant filed yesterday Monday 27 March 2023 as “Additional Authorities” is unnecessary as it adds nothing to the defendant’s case. If anything, it is an overburden to this Court.

— B.B. Kanyip J. FG v. ASUU (2023) – NICN/ABJ/270/2022

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FOREIGN AUTHORITIES CANNOT SUPPLANT OUR CASE LAWS

Foreign authorities of the greatest learning cannot supplant our case law which is rightly decided on issues coming before this court. In Prince Adigun v. A-G., Oyo State (No 2) (1987) 21 NWLR (Pt. 56) 197, Karibi-Whyte, J.S.C. said at page 230: “This court has reached the stage where it does not regard differences from...

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COUNSEL MUST PROVIDE CITATION OF AUTHORITY OR CCT IF NOT REPORTED

In its written address in support of the preliminary objection, as well as the reply on points of law, the defendant cited a number of case law authorities without giving any citation, or where citation was given, it was improper. The claimants variously pointed these out in their reaction to the defendant. This is in addition to some of the judgments of this Court that the defendant referred to especially in the reply on points of law that are unreported but which the defendant did not supply their certified true copies as enjoined by Order 45 Rule 3(1) of the NICN Rules 2017. This Court is accordingly not obliged to give any consideration to such case law authorities. As His Lordship Augie, JSC intoned in Major General Kayode Oni (Rtd) & 4 ors v. Governor of Ekiti State & anor [2019] LPELR-46413(SC): It is an elementary principle, very elementary, that Counsel who want the Court to make use of authorities cited in Court must provide the name of Parties, the year the case was decided, and where the case is reported, name of the Law Report, the year, volume and page must be cited. But if the said case is unreported, Counsel must provide the Court with a certified true copy of the Judgment sought to be relied upon – see Chidoka & anor v. First City Finance Co. Ltd [2013] 5 NWLR (Pt. 1344) 144 and Ugo-Ngadi v. FRN [2018] LPELR-43903(SC)

— B.B. Kanyip J. FG v. ASUU (2023) – NICN/ABJ/270/2022

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