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FINDINGS OF FACT NOT DISTURBED BY APPEAL COURT

Dictum

It is now well settled that this court will not disturb the findings of facts of two courts below unless there is manifest error which leads to some miscarriage of justice, or a violation of some principle of law or procedure.

– Karibe-Whyte JSC. Amadi v. Nwosu (1992)

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MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE WILL LEAD TO REVERSAL OF CONCURRENT FINDINGS

This court would be quick to reverse concurrent findings of fact if there was miscarriage of justice or a violation of some principle of law or procedure or the finding, is found to be perverse.

– Rhodes-Vivour, JSC. Ukeje v. Ukeje (2014)

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NATURE OF CONCURRENT FINDINGS

There are thus concurrent findings of fact that the appellant was in breach of contract to fly the respondent from Lagos to Manzini and back to Lagos. It is very well settled that concurrent findings by the trial court and the court of Appeal would not be disturbed by the Supreme Court except there has been exceptional circumstances to disturb those findings such as: 1. The findings cannot be supported by evidence, or are perverse. 2. There is miscarriage of justice or violation of law or procedure.

– Rhodes-Vivour, JSC. Cameroon v. Otutuizu (2011) – SC.217/2004

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CONCURRENT FINDINGS OF FACT

The position of this Court has always been to refrain from interfering with concurrent findings of fact unless it is shown that the findings are perverse. A finding is perverse (i) Where it is not supported by evidence on the record; (ii) Where it does not reflect a proper exercise of judicial discretion; (iii) Where evidence has been wrongly admitted or rejected at the trial; (iv) Where there has been an erroneous appraisal of facts leading to erroneous conclusion; (v) Where the finding has been reached as a result of a wrong application of some principles of substantive law or procedure. See: Ayeni Vs Adesina (2007) ALL FWLR (Pt. 370) 1451 @ 1457-1458; Woluchem Vs Gudi (1981) 5 SC 291 @ 326; Adegbite Vs Ogunfaolu, (1990) 4 NWLR (Pt.146) 578; Itu Vs The State (2016) 5 NWLR (Pt.1506) 443.

— K.M.O. Kekere-Ekun, JSC. MTN v. Corporate (2019) – SC.674/2014

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WHEN COURT WILL INTERFERE IN THE EXERCISE BY THE TRIAL COURT

The appellate court will therefore not interfere with the exercise of it by the lower court unless it has been shown that it was not exercised judicially, that is bonafide, and not arbitrarily or illegally or by reference to extraneous considerations or by omitting to take relevant factors into account. This is the result of all the cases.

– Nnaemeka-Agu, JSC. Adejumo v. Ayantegbe (1989)

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INTERFERENCE: WHERE APPELLATE COURT CAN INTERFERE WITH TRIAL COURT’S FINDING

As a matter of practice, this court rarely interferes with or disturbs the concurrent finding of two lower court, except in special or exceptional circumstances. Some of these exceptional or special circumstance that would warrant such interference by an appeal court are if it is shown that there was a miscarriage of justice, misconception of fact or serious violation of some principle of law whether substantive or procedural or that such findings were erroneous or perverse.

– Sanusi JSC. Chemiron v. Stabilini (2018)

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ONLY IN EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES WILL DISCRETION OF TRIAL JUDGE BE REVERSED

It is a trite procedural tenet that the evaluation of evidence and ascription of probative value to such evidence are the exclusive preserve of the trial court which had the opportunity of hearing and assessing the testimony and conduct of the witnesses. It is unusual for an appellate court to disturb such findings of a trial court except where it is found to be perverse irrational or does not accord with common sense. See DARE VS FAGBAMILA (2009) 14 NWLR (PT 1160) 177; SULE VS HABU (2011) 7 NWLR (PT 1246) 339 and KARIBO VS GREND (1992) 3 NWLR (PT 230) 426.

— S.C. Oseji, JCA. ACB v Ajugwo (2011) – CA/E/66/2006

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