Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

CRIME MUST BE SPECIFICALLY PLEADED

Dictum

Crime as an offence punishable by law must be specifically pleaded and proved. – Niki Tobi JSC. Okonkwo v. Cooperative Bank (2003)

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

THERE MUST BE A SPECIFIC DENIAL PLEADINGS BY THE OTHER PARTY

In the case of Messrs. Lewis & Peat (N.R.I.) Ltd. v. Akhimien ( 1976) 7 S.C. 157 at page 163-4 where he stated: “We must observe, however, that in order to raise an issue of fact in these circumstances there must be a proper traverse: and traverse must be made either by a denial or non-admission either expressly or by necessary implication. So that if a defendant refuses to admit a particular allegation in the statement of claim, he must state so specifically; and he does not do this satisfactorily by pleading thus: ‘defendant is trot in a position to admit or deny (the particular allegation on the statement of claim) and will at the trial put plaintiff to proof.” … We are, of course, not unmindful of the first paragraph of the statement of defence. Nowadays almost every statement of defence contains such a general denial. (See Warner v. Sampson (1959) 1 Q.B. 287 at 310-311. However, in respect of essential and material allegations such a general denial ought not be adopted; essential allegations should be specifically traversed. (See Wallersteins v. Moir (1974) 1 W.L.R. 991 at 1002 per Lord Denning, M.R.; also Bullen & Leake & Jacobs, Precedents of Pleadings 12th Edition 83).

Was this dictum helpful?

ISSUES ARE NOT JOINED ON POINTS OF LAW – LAW SHOULD NOT BE PLEADED

Ahmadu Bello University v. Molokwu it was held thus:- “It is unnecessary for parties to join issue on a point of law or statutory provisions once a statutory provision is found applicable, it would be applied by the court notwithstanding that parties have not joined issues on the point in their pleading.” The defendants/appellants just as in the present appeal contended that the law relied upon did not exist and therefore the plaintiffs/ respondents’ action must fail. The court in rejecting the contention held at page 286 that: “There is substance in the submission of the learned counsel for the appellant that there is no statute of Ahmadu Bello university know as Ahmadu Bello university calendar of 1986/1988. The reference may be one of lapsus calami. But if learned counsel’s objection is sustained. It would tantamount to giving reigns to technicality. Furthermore, if the submission is acceded to, it would be tacit acceptance and encouragement to reinstate the principle of law that law or statute or part thereof should be pleaded”.

Was this dictum helpful?

AVERMENTS IN PLEADINGS NOT ADMITTED MUST BE PROVED

An averment in pleadings is not and has never been considered as legal evidence unless the same has been admitted by the other side to the litigation. Accordingly an averment which is not admitted must be proved or established by evidence. An averment of a material fact in pleadings which is denied but is not established by evidence is worthless and must be discountenanced. In a sense, such an averment may in law be rightly regarded as abandoned. (See generally on the above, Akinfosile v. Ijose (1960) 5 F.S.C. 192; (1960) SCNLR 447; Muraina Akanmu v. Adigun (1993) 7 NWLR (Pt.304) 218 at 231; Obmiami Brick and Stone Ltd v. A.C.B. Ltd (1992) 3 NWLR (Pt.229) 260 at 293 and Anyah v. A.N.N Ltd. (1992) 6 NWLR (Pt.247) 319 at 331.)

– Iguh, JSC. Magnusson v. Koiki (1993) – SC.119/1991

Was this dictum helpful?

CRIMINAL MATTERS & FRAUD ARE NOT ARBITRABLE

Disputes which are subject of an arbitration agreement must be arbitrable. Matters like criminal matters or where fraud is alleged and raised as a matter of public policy are not to be settled privately by arbitration. See B. J. EXPORT & CHEMICAL CO. LTD v. KADUNA PETRO-CHEMICAL CO. LTD. (Supra).

— H.M. Ogunwumiju, JSC. UBA v Triedent Consulting Ltd. (SC.CV/405/2013, July 07, 2023)

Was this dictum helpful?

FAILURE TO PLEAD RELEVANT FACTS DEFEATS THE CLAIM

Pleadings just like other civil claims is a prerequisite to the establishment of a claim and in this case negligence. Failure to plead relevant facts would automatically defeat the claim. The Respondent failed to do the needful and therefore did not merit to have judgment, I therefore agree with my brother that the appeal is meritorious and succeeds.

– Nimpar JCA. Diamond Bank v. Mocok (2019)

Was this dictum helpful?

PLEADING IS NO EVIDENCE

Pleading, of course, is no evidence and a case is decided on the admissible evidence adduced before the court-see: Dumbo V Idugboe (1983) 1 SCNLR 29; (1983) 14 NSCC 22. A.S.H.D.C. v Emekwue (1996) – SC. 282/1989

Was this dictum helpful?

No more related dictum to show.