Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

A COURT OF RECORDS HAS THE INHERENT POWERS TO SET ASIDE ITS DECISION WHERE

Dictum

The Supreme Court, and any other superior court of record, possesses inherent power to set aside its judgment in appropriate cases. Such circumstances include: a. When the judgment is obtained by fraud or deceit b. When the judgment is a nullity and a person affected by the order is entitled ex debito justitiae to have it set aside. c. When the court was misled into giving judgment under the mistaken belief that the parties had consented to it. d. Where judgment was given in the absence of jurisdiction. e. Where the procedure adopted was such as to deprive the decision or judgment of the character of a legitimate adjudication. See: Adegoke Motors Ltd. v. Adesanya (1989) 3 NWLR (Pt.109) 250; A.D.H. Ltd. v. Amalgamated Trustees Ltd, (2007) ALL FWLR (Pt.392) 1781 @ 1840 C – F; Alao v. A.C.B. Ltd. (2000) FWLR (Pt. 11) 1858; (2000) 9 NWLR (Pt.672) 264; Igwe v. Kalu (2002) 14 NWLR (Pt.787) 435; Madukolu v. Nkemdilim (1962) SCNLR 341; Obimonure v. Erinosho (1966) All NLR 245.

— K.M.O. Kekere-Ekun JSC. Citec v. Francis (SC.116/2011, 21 February 2014)

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

A COURT HAS INHERENT POWERS TO SET ASIDE ITS OWN ORDER MADE WITHOUT

In sum, I hold firmly that where a judgment of this court or an order thereof is adjudged a nullity, a party affected thereby is entitled to have it set aside ex debito justitiae. The court has inherent jurisdiction or power to set aside its own order or decision made without jurisdiction if such order or decision is in fact a nullity or was obtained by fraud or if the court was misled into granting same by concealing some vital information or facts. See Igwe v. Kalu (supra), Vulcan Gases Ltd v. G.F. Ind. AC (2001) 9 NWLR (pt.719) 610 at 644 – 645 paras H – A.

— J.I. Okoro JSC. Citec v. Francis (SC.116/2011, 21 February 2014)

Was this dictum helpful?

IT IS PRINCIPLE OF A DECISION THAT APPLIES

I shall now consider what really was decided in these two cases and see if the principles of those decisions (not the dicta) apply to the facts and circumstances of the case now on appeal.

– Oputa, JSC. Green v. Green (1987)

Was this dictum helpful?

APPELLATE COURT APPROACH TO REVIEWING CUSTOMARY COURT DECISION

This court in the case of Odofin v. Oni (2001) 1 SCNJ 130 handed down the principles to be adopted in interpreting the records of proceedings of a Native or Customary Courts. At page 149 of the report Achike JSC of blessed memory stated the principles thus:- “In order to appreciate the real effect of the lower courts strong criticism of the statement of the customary court that the respondent “failed to prove ownership of the land in dispute” it is important to stress that greater latitude and broader interpretation must be accorded to decision of customary courts as it is trite that the proceedings in the customary courts are not subject to the application of the Evidence Act. It is important that superior appellant courts in relation to matters relating to customary courts should focus their attention to the substance of the judgments or decisions in those courts rather than the forms. This is so because customary courts be they Area Courts or whatever name they are christened in our judicial jurisdiction are generally presided over by laymen without even rudimentary exposure to legal principles. An Appellate Court should in all circumstances strive to get the bottom of the decision of a customary court. This can only be achieved by considering the input of a decision of a customary court not in fragments or in isolation of excerpts thereof but must be read harmoniously as a whole in order to capture its imports. In other-words when greater latitude is accorded to the interpretation of the decisions of customary court it will be sufficient if such decisions are seen to accord with the view of person of good common sense and reason completely devoid of legalistic encrustments”.

Was this dictum helpful?

UNLESS DECISION IS PERVERSE, FINDING OF TRIAL COURT IS UPHELD

In Ebba vs. Ogodo (1984) 4 SC 372. The apex court had this to say:- “Unless the Court of Appeal finds that the decision is perverse, the Court of Appeal, whose opportunity is confined to printed record, is obliged to, and must accord to the finding of fact, by the trial court, the greatest weight and due respect.”

Was this dictum helpful?

DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT IS PERVERSE IF IT DOES NOT FLOW FROM THE ESTABLISHED FACTS

C.S.S Book Shop Ltd. v. The Regd. Trustees of Muslim Community in Rivers State (2006) 4 SCM 310 “A decision of a Court is perverse when it ignores the facts or evidence adduced and admitted before it and when considered as a whole amount to miscarriage of justice. In such a case, an appellate Court is bound to interfere with such a decision and to set it aside.”

Was this dictum helpful?

DECISION OF A COURT NOT APPEALED AGAINST IS BINDING

The law is settled that a decision of a Court of competent jurisdiction not appealed against remains valid, subsisting and binding on the parties and is presumed acceptable by them. It is also the law that where there is an appeal on some points only in a decision, the appeal stands or falls on those points appealed against only while the other points or decisions not appealed against remain valid, subsisting and unchallenged.

– Tijjani Abubakar, JSC. Nwobike v. FRN (2021)

Was this dictum helpful?

No more related dictum to show.