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FOR REVERSAL OF AN ERROR, A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE MUST HAVE OCCURED

Dictum

Again to be said is that it is not every error of law that is committed by a trial or appellate Court that justifies the reversal of a judgment. For a reversal to take place, the error must have occasioned a miscarriage of justice as it was material in the decision reached.

– M. Peter-Odili JSC. Adegbanke v. Ojelabi (2021)

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FOR IRREGULARITY TO SUCCEED, MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE MUST BE SHOWN

Adebayo v. Johnson (1969) 1 All NLR 176 where at page 190 this Court observed: “Even if the procedure adopted by the applicant Adebayo were wrong, we think that it is now much too late in the day for the directors to complain about it. They failed to challenge the correctness of the procedure at the commencement of the proceedings or on their entry into the case and sought unsuccessfully to get the Statement of Delinquencies filed by the applicant Adebayo struck out. Clearly in those circumstances the adoption of a wrong procedure would be no more than an irregularity, and would not render the entire proceedings a nullity as was submitted by learned counsel for the director Kamson: so unless a miscarriage of justice is thereby alleged and proved, the proceedings would not be struck out. See in re Kellock (1887) 56 L.T.R. 887: also Allen v. Oakey (1890) 62 LT.R. 724.”

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MEANING OF JUST AND FAIR

In the latter regard I refer to Halsbury’s Law of England, Vol. 21, page 348 para. “370.Meaning of just or convenient. The words just or convenient in the statutory provision (k) must be read just, as well as convenient (l). They do not mean that the court can grant an injunction simply because the court thinks it convenient, but mean that the court should grant an injunction for protection of rights or the prevention of injury according to legal principles (m). They confer no arbitrary nor unregulated discretion on the court, and do not authorise it to invent new modes of enforcing judgment in substitution for the ordinary modes (o).”

— Agbaje JSC. Okoya & Ors. V. S. Santilli & Ors. ( SC.206/1989, 23 MAR 1990)

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JUSTICE OF THE CASE IS DETERMINED BY THE FACTS OF THE CASE

Justice of a case cannot be determined in vacuo but in relation to the facts of the case. Justice so to say, which is not done within the facts of a case is not justifice properly so called but justice in inverted commas and therefore injustice.

— Niki Tobi, JSC. Buhari v. INEC (2008) – SC 51/2008

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JUSTICE IS A THREE WAY STREET IN ADVERSARIAL SYSTEM

In our adversarial system of justice, justice is a three way street. It must flow to society, the plaintiff and the defendant in equal parts. It is not the exclusive preserve of any party.

– Ogunwumiju JCA. Awure v. Iledu (2007)

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MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE IS FAILURE OF JUSTICE

Miscarriage of justice is a failure of justice. There is a miscarriage of justice where there are grave or serious errors in the proceedings as to make the proceedings fundamentally flawed. It means failure of the Court to do justice. See Enawakponmwhem Aigbobahi & Ors v. Edokpayi Aifuwa & Ors (2006) 6 NWLR (Pt.976) p.270; Amadi v. NNPC (2000) 10 NWLR (Pt.674) p.76;Kalu O. Irolo & Ors v. Ebe E. Uka & Anor (2002) 14 NWLR (Pt.786) p.195. Nnajiofor v. Ukonu (1986) 4 NWLR (Pt.36) p.505.

– Rhodes-Vivour, JSC. Nwankwoala v FRN (2018) – SC.783/2015

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