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COURT OF COORDINATE JURISDICTION GIVING CONTRADICTORY JUDGEMENTS BRINGS IGNOMINY

Dictum

Pats-Acholonu, JSC in N.I.M.B. LTD vs. U.B.N. LTD (2004) 12 NWLR (pt. 888) 599 at 618 thus: “Now there is no doubt that the two Courts in this case of co-ordinate jurisdiction became seised of the same subject matter in which it must be made absolutely clear, made orders which from whatever or however any one may look and try to synthesise or analyse them, were pitched against each other. In that case, the protagonists, id est, the legal combatants would inevitably be put in the quandary as to which order would prevail or be obeyed. …They ought necessarily to avoid a situation where the Court by its being less cautious exposes itself by the nature of the order it makes to ridicule and the majesty and aura of its pronouncements are either compromised or treated with ignominy as a non-issue by the confused parties and I dare say by the common citizenry.”

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DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT IS FINAL

In FBN Plc v. TSA Ind. Ltd (2012) LPELR 4714 SC, this Court stated as follows: “There is no doubt that this Court does not have the power or competence or jurisdiction to consider an application to review its judgment once delivered. The Supreme Court being the final Court of Justice of Nigeria, its decision is final and cannot be altered or reviewed by any other Court or by itself except by itself on exceptional and specific circumstances.”

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WHAT IS INTERLOCUTORY AND WHAT IS A RULING?

My humble view is that the word “interlocutory” simply means “(of an order, judgment, appeal, etc) interim or temporary; not constituting a final resolution of the whole controversy.” A “ruling” is “the outcome of a Court’s decision either on some points of law or on the case as a whole.” See Blacks Law Dictionary, 9th edition, pages 889 and 1450.

— J.T. Tur, JCA. Abdulkardir Abacha v Kurastic [2014] – CA/A/406/2010

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DELIBERATE DECISION TAKING BY COUNSEL FOR CLIENT IS BINDING

Supreme Court made this very clear in Akanbi v Alao (1989) 3 NWLR (Pt.108) 143, Per Eso JSC as follows: – “I think it would be extending Ibodo v Enarofia case beyond reason if every considered or assumed considered professional decision of a counsel which has gone wrong should qualify as ground of appeal. We did say once, and I am still of the firm view that the conduct of a case lies wholly with counsel. The rule really should be “caveat client”. If you choose a counsel, you should permit him, once seised of the case to conduct the case in the manner of his professional ability. Indeed that is part of the independence of the Bar. If there is lapse in his office, his clerk forgetting to file some papers, he forgetting the date of hearing or such like procedural errors, of course the client should not be made to suffer. If however, he takes a deliberate decision and loses thereby, then, it is his privilege to lose and that will constitute a right for the client for utilization as a ground of appeal. For, if it were not so, the profession would be in jeopardy”.

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APPELLATE COURT IS ONLY CONCERNED WITH WHETHER THE DECISION GIVEN IS RIGHT, NOT WHETHER THE REASON IS RIGHT OR WRONG

An appellate Court is only concerned with whether the judgment appealed against is right or wrong not whether the reasons given are right or wrong. Where the judgment is right but the reasons given are wrong, the appellate Court does not interfere. It is only where the misdirection has caused the Court to come to a wrong conclusion that the appellate Court will interfere See also Abaye v. Ofili (1986) 1 NWLR (Pt. 15) 134: Ukejianya v. Uchendu 18 WACA 46; Obajimi v. Adeobi (2008) 3 NWLR (Pt. 1075) 1 @ p. 19: Owor v. Christopher (2010) All FWLR (Pt. 511) 962 @ p. 992; Sogbamu v. Odunaiya (2013) All FWLR (Pt. 700) 1249 @ p. 1302; Mini Lodge v. Ngei(2010) All FWLR (Pt. 506) 1806 @ pp. 1820-1821; Saeed v. Yakowa (2013) All FWLR (Pt. 692) 1650 @ p. 1681.

— B.A. Georgewill JCA. Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc V. Longterm Global Capital Limited & Ors. (CA/L/427/2016, 9 Mar 2018)

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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)

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DECISION OF COURT WHICH APPEARS SUBSTANTIALLY REGULAR IS PRESUMED TO BE CORRECT

The duty of every appellant is to show and or establish that the decision he has appealed was wrong or unreasonable. Every decision of a Court of law, a judicial act, done in a manner substantially regular is presumed to be correct and that formal requisites for its validity were complied with. The presumption of regularity under Section 167(1) of the Evidence Act, 2011 is all about this.

— E. Eko, JSC. Kassim v. State (2017) – SC.361/2015

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