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WE SHOULD AVOID INTERPRETATION WHICH WOULD REDUCE THE LEGISLATIVE TO FUTILITY

Dictum

Nokes v. Doncaster Amalgamated Collieries, Limited (1940) A,C, 1014, Viscount Simon, L.C, staled at page 1022: “If the choice is between two interpretations, the narrower of which will fail to achieve the manifest purpose of the legislation, we should avoid a construction which would reduce the legislation to futility and should rather accept the bolder construction based on the view that Parliament would legislate only for the purpose of bringing about an effective result.”

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MEANING OF THE WORD “SHALL” – IT IS A COMMAND

At para. 2.19: In the case of Dr. Arthur Agwuncha Nwankwo and Ors V. Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua and Ors. (2010) LPELR-2109(SC), the apex Court held as follows on the interpretation to be accorded the word ‘shall’ in a statute, “The word shall when used in a statutory provision imports that a thing must be done....

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LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION SHOULD BE GIVEN TO CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION

It is that the provisions of the Constitution are to be given liberal construction so as to best carry out the intention of the founding fathers. Their construction is not to be guided by the construction of other constitutions in other common law jurisdictions unless similar provisions in pari materia were in question. This Court...

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INTERPRETATION OF S.88(2) CFRN 1999

It cannot escape notice that under section 88(2) above, the 1st defendant can only conduct the stated investigation in two situations for the purpose of enabling it to – (a) Make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defects in existing laws; and (b) Expose corruption, inefficiency or waste...

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“MAY” MEAN “SHALL” WHERE THERE IS AN OBLIGATION IMPOSED

OMOMZUAWO & ANOR v. UGBODAGA & ORS (2021) JELR 107021 (CA): “it is now trite in law that where the word ‘may’ is used but a right or obligation is thereby conferred, then the word ‘may’ is to be interpreted as ‘shall’ and is taken as mandatory. In the instant appeal looking holistically at the...

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COURT DEAL WITH LAW AS IT IS

The duty of the court is not to deal with the law as it ought to be but as it is. – Onnoghen, J.S.C. GEC v. DUKE (2007) Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No 0...

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GIVE ORDINARY MEANING WHERE STATUTORY PROVISIONS ARE CLEAR

The above constitutional provisions are clear, plain and unambiguous and should be accorded their literal interpretation by attaching the ordinary grammatical meaning to the words used therein. It is trite law that the elementary rule of construction is that words used in a statute should be given their ordinary grammatical meaning. Where the statutory provisions...

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