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MEANING OF “SUBJECT TO”

Dictum

Megarry J in Clerk Ltd. v. Inland Revenue Commissioners (1973) 2 All E.R.513 at 520: “The phrase ‘subject to’ is a simple provision which merely subjects the provisions of the subject subsection to the provisions of the master subsections. Where there is no clash, the phrase does nothing; if there is collision the phrase shows what is to prevail.”

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DOCUMENTS ARE TO BE GIVEN THEIR NATURAL MEANING

The first rule about the construction of documents enjoins that the simple natural meaning of words be ascribed to them unless this is impossible, and the defendant is severely precluded from giving oral evidence to disparage the clear expressions already reduced by her or for her into writing. We have come to the conclusion in...

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GUIDING PRINCIPLES TO THE INTERPRETATION OF THE NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION

In FRN V NGANJIWA, which was cited by the Petitioners as SC/794/2019, but which is reported as FRN v NGANJIWA (2022) LPELR-58066(SC), the Supreme Court has succinctly reviewed decided cases on interpretation of the Constitution and outlined these guiding principles: (a) In interpreting the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, mere technical...

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DEFINITION OF “SECONDMENT”

The term secondment is mostly used in the public service which is not the case in the instant suit. That notwithstanding, the Black’s Law Dictionary at page 1555 defines ‘secondment’ as “a period of time that a worker spends away from his or her usual job”. The court in the case of ALHAJI HAMZA DALHATU v. ATTORNEY GENERAL, KATSINA STATE & ORS (2007) LPELR-8460(CA) also reckoned the meaning of secondment as used in the Public service rules when it stated that: “SECTION 6 – TRANSFERS AND SECONDMENT 02601 – TRANSFER is the permanent release of an officer from one service to another or from one class to another within the same service. SECONDEMENT means the temporary release of an officer to the service of another Government or Body for a specified period.” Per ARIWOOLA, J.C.A. (P.34, paras. A-B).

— Z.M. Bashir, J. Gbaraka v Zenith Securities & Anor. (2020) – NICN/PHC/45/2018

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INTERPRETATION OF S.22 LAND USE ACT

Firstly, the position of section 22 of the Act, is undoubtedly, that a holder of a right of occupancy, may enter into an agreement or contract, with a view to alienating his said right of occupancy. In entering into such an agreement or contract, he does not need the consent of the Governor. He merely...

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CONSTRUCTION OF STATUTE SHOULD NOT DEFEAT ITS’ INTENT

Generally, where the words of a statute are plain, clear and unambiguous, the Court should give them their literal meaning. So the golden or literal rule of interpretation of statutes or even a Constitution, is to give the words used therein, their ordinary and plain meaning without importation. The Court should construe the words of...

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PREAMBLE MUST BE HAD IN MIND WHILE APPLYING SECTIONS OF THE LAND USE ACT

The preambles to the Land Use Act, If looked at carefully and relating it to the case at hand, would reveal that the provision for consent of the Governor must not be applied to transfer of title or alienation of rights between private individuals where there is no overriding public interest or conflict between the...

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