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WHERE NO AFFIDAVIT SUPPORTS PRELIMINARY OBJECTION

Dictum

The defendant in filing its preliminary objection did not file any affidavit in support, which effectively made its preliminary objection one of law.

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

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AFFIDAVIT SHOULD BE FILED WHERE THERE ARE ISSUES OF FACTS IN PRELIMINARY OBJECTION

Grounds (v), (vi) and (vii) of the preliminary objection themselves raise issues of facts, at best issues of mixed law and facts, for which the defendant ought to have filed a supporting affidavit. The defendant did not. Grounds (v), (vi) and (vii) are respectively stated to be thus: (v) The Plaintiffs’ Suit does not disclose a reasonable cause of action against the Defendants. (vi) The Plaintiffs’ Suit is lacking in bona fide, as it was filed to harass, irritate and embarrass the Defendant, which constitutes an abuse of judicial process. (vii) The ministers (sic) Referral offends the twin pillar of Justice – nemo judex in causa sua and audi alterem partem. These are not grounds that can be resolved without the facts upon which they are based — facts that ought to come by way of an affidavit from the defendant.

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

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IF FACTS ARE RAISED IN PRELIMINARY OBJECTION, AN AFFIDAVIT MUST BE FILED

In Ama v. Nwankwo [2007] 12 NWLR (Pt. 1049) 552 at 578, Rhodes-Vivour, JCA (as he then was) stated the position of the law relating to preliminary objection vis-à-vis the necessity of filing a supporting affidavit thusly: Preliminary objection strictly speaking deals with law. Consequently there is no need for supporting affidavit, but the grounds of the objection must be clearly stated. For example, objection that court process has not been complied with, suit/process is an abuse of process. When, as often happens a preliminary objection strays from law to facts of the case, the onus is on the party relying on the preliminary objection to justify the facts, and this can only be done by filing an affidavit. A preliminary objection may be supported by affidavit depending on what is being objected to. If the preliminary objection is on law, an affidavit is unnecessary, but if on facts an affidavit is mandatory (emphasis is this Court’s).

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

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INCLUDING NOTICE OF PRELIMINARY OBJECTION IN BRIEF

‘Thus, a respondent who has any application to make in respect of a pending appeal, can without the leave of this court, raise the objection in a Respondents’ notice in his brief of argument, and proffer argument in support of the objection, in his brief of argument, without necessarily filing a Notice of Preliminary objection,...

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PRELIMINARY OBJECTION TAKEN FIRST

By its nature and necessary implications, the preliminary objection has to be taken first. – Denton West JCA. Salaja v. Salaja (2013) Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No 0...

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PRELIMINARY OBJECTION IS TO BE TAKEN FIRST BEFORE ANY STEP IN THE PROCEEDING

Generally, the rules of this Court allow a respondent to rely on a preliminary objection to the hearing of the appeal. The purpose of the objection is to bring the appeal to an end after being discovered to be incompetent and or fundamentally deceptive. In either case, it will be unnecessary to continue with the...

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