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INVOKING A COURT UNDER WRONG LAW DOES NOT STOP THE COURT

Dictum

But that in order to benefit from the principle, the facts relied upon, must support the correct law to be applied. In other words, where a court has jurisdiction to make an order, the fact that the power of the court, is invoked under a wrong law or rule of court, is no reason, for not making the order or where it is made, it is no reason for setting it aside. See also the cases of Salawu Oke & Ors. v. Musilim Aiyedun & Anor.: (1986) 2 NWLR (Pt. 23) 548: (1986) 4 SC 61 at 68 and Dr. Maja v. Mr. Costa Samouris (2002) 3 SCNJ 29 at 50, (2002) 7 NWLR (Pt.765) 78.

— I.F. Ogbuagu, JSC. Witt Ltd. v Dale Power (2007) – SC.240/2000

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MISTAKE OF REGISTRY WILL NOT BE VISITED ON LITIGANT

Cooperative And Commerce Bank Nig. Ltd. Plc V. Attorney General Anambra State & Anor (1992) 8 NWLR (Pt. 261) 528 at 561 held as follows;
“it will be contrary to all principles to allow litigants to suffer for the mistake of the Court Registry. In other words, the Court will not visit the sin of the Court’s Registry on a litigant or his counsel, unless, it was shown that the litigant or his counsel was a party thereto or had full knowledge of the sin or mistake and encouraged or condoned the said act. Therefore, on the authorities, justice, equity, fairness and good conscience, must persuade me, to hold further that this appeal deserves to succeed and it in fact does.”

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RULES OF COURT VIOLATED SHOULD BE STATED

The question remains whether the claimants were wrong in filing an affidavit when the defendant did not file any as to its preliminary objection. I must first point out that the argument of the defendant, that the claimants violated the Rules of this Court in filing an affidavit in opposition to the preliminary objection when the defendant did not, is one the defendant made without stating the Rules of this Court that were violated.

— B.B. Kanyip J. FG v. ASUU (2023) – NICN/ABJ/270/2022

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IT IS NOT THE BUSINESS OF THE COURT TO NOMINATE PARTIES FOR ELECTION

It is not the business of any Court to select or nominate candidates for any political party for election. The nomination of a candidate to contest an election is the sole responsibility of the political party concerned. The Courts do not have jurisdiction to decide who should be sponsored by a political party as a candidate in an election. See Onuoha v Okafor (1983) 2 SCNLR 244, Dalhatu v Turaki (2003) 15 NWLR (pt 843) 310, Shinkafi & Anor v Yari & Ors (2016) LPELR – 26050 (SC) page 57 paragraphs A – D, Olofu & Ors v Itodo & Anor (2010) 18 NWLR (pt 1225) 545. The above position has been the law and has not changed because issue of selection and/or nomination of a candidate for an election is strictly within the domestic jurisdiction or power of political parties.

— J.I. Okoro, JSC. Uba v. Ozigbo, INEC, PDP (SC.CV/772/2021, October 21, 2021)

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COURT MAY RELY ON AUTHORITIES NOT CITED BY PARTIES

T.M. Orugbo & Anor v. Bulana Una & Ors (2002) 9 SCNJ 12 at 32-33. This Court held that “A Court of law has no legal duty to confine itself only to authorities cited by the parties. It can, in an effort to improve its judgment, rely on authorities not cited by the parties. Historical books or whatever books are authorities and the Koko District Customary Court was free to make use of them in its judgment. That per se is not breach of fair hearing, not even the twin rules of natural justice. The Court is under no duty to give notice to the parties that it intends to use a particular book. That will be a ridiculous situation.”

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COURT IS NOT RESTRICTED TO AUTHORITIES CITED BY PARTIES

It is to be said loud and clear that a Court of law has no legal duty to confine itself only to authorities cited by parties. It can, in an effort to improve its Judgment rely on authorities not cited by parties. The Court is also under no duty to give notice to the parties that it intends to use a particular book or authority.

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

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RATIONALE FOR SOMETIMES DEPARTURE FROM THE EVIDENCE ACT BY THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT OF NIGERIA

The resolution of labour/employment disputes is the resolution of disputes where the nature of rights is one in personam. This is an area of law where even the identity card of an employee is the property of the employer and must be surrendered immediately the employment relationship ceases or comes to an end. (Exhibit D5 actually demanded that the claimant should surrender any and all correspondences, materials and equipment provided to her by the defendant without retaining copies in any form whatsoever should the claimant discover them in her possession.) This is an area of law where upon the cessation of employment, an employee who hitherto had access (often very limited access) to the documents of the employer immediately ceases to so have simply because the employee’s internet access had been immediately clogged. See, for instance, Exhibit D5 couched as a non-competition term but which threatens the claimant with prosecution should she as much as divulge any information or document through sending such to herself vide her home address or personal email account. There is even the additional threat to the claimant that UAE law recognizes this behavior as theft punishable by imprisonment – this is even aside from the fact the claimant will forfeit any unpaid salary or commission and be liable to be sued for damages. This is an area of law where an employer expected to certify a document will willingly refuse to so certify the document. God save the employee if the employer is a public institution for which the Evidence Act requires certification before any secondary evidence can be rendered.

— B.B. Kanyip, J. Awogu v TFG Real Estate (2018) – NICN/LA/262/2013

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