Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

JUDGEMENT IN REM VS JUDGEMENT IN PERSONAM

Dictum

In Dike & Ors v. Nzeka II & Ors (1986) LPELR – 945 (SC), the Supreme Court held thusly – “It is therefore necessary to have a clear idea of the distinction between a judgment tin rem and a judgment in personam. A judgment is said to be in rem when it is an adjudication pronounced upon the Status of some particular thing or subject matter by a tribunal having the jurisdiction and the competence to pronounce on that Status. Such a judgment is usually and invariably founded on proceedings instituted against or on something or subject-matter whose status or condition is to be determined. It is thus a solemn declaration on the status of some persons or thing. It is therefore binding on all persons in so far as their interests in the status of the property or person are concerned. That is why a judgment in rem is a judgment contra mundum binding on the whole world – parties as well as nonparties. A judgment in personam, on the other hand, is on an entirely different footing. It is a judgment against a particular person as distinguished from a judgment declaring the status of a particular person or thing. A judgment in personam will be more accurately called a judgment inter partes. A judgment in personam usually creates a personal obligation as it determines the rights of parties inter se to, or in the subject-matter in dispute whether it be land or other corporeal property or liquidated or unliquidated demand, but does not affect the status of either the persons to the dispute or the thing in dispute.”

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

PERIOD WITHIN WHICH EVERY COURT MUST DELIVER ITS JUDGEMENT

Also, in Dalyop vs. Oradiegwu (2000) 8 NWLR Part 669 page 421, this Court, per Akpabio, J.C.A, said: “Section 258(1) of the 1979 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) which appellant said gave him “a constitutional right to address the court before judgment is delivered” did not give him any such right. Rather it restricted the period within which every court must deliver its judgment to a period of “not later than 3 months after the conclusion of evidence and final addresses.”

Was this dictum helpful?

A COURT WILL TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE OF HIS JUDGEMENT, REPORTED OR UNREPORTED

I think it is fairly well settled and not a matter of argument that a court will take judicial notice of its records and proceedings. In respect of the valid judgments of a court of Record, the court will readily take judicial notice of its judgments reported and unreported. I would not draw any distinction between panels of the same court. A decision of one panel is a decision of the Court and each Panel will take judicial notice of it. In my view, it is only for convenience that published report of valid judgments of court or copies of its unreported judgments are brought before a court. They need not be, they could just be cited.

— Nnamani JSC. Gbaniyi Osafile v. Paul Odi (SC 149/1987, 4th day of May 1990)

Was this dictum helpful?

JUDGMENT MUST BE CONFINED TO ISSUES RAISED

It is well settled that a judgment must be confined to the issues raised on the pleadings. Where it is otherwise the court will be making a case for the parties by formulating its own case from the evidence and then proceeding to give judgment. No gratuitous awards are to be made by the court.

– Karibe-Whyte, JSC. Oniah v. Onyia (1989)

Was this dictum helpful?

WHAT IS A FINAL JUDGEMENT?

In Obasi Brothers Merchant Co. Ltd. vs. Merchant Bank of Africa Securities Ltd. (2005) 2 SCNJ 272, Pat-Acholonu, JSC held at page 278 that: “A final judgment is one which decides the rights of parties. In other words it is a decision on the merits of the case where the matter is assiduously canvassed and the rendition of a judgment is based on what is canvassed and agitated before the Courts by the legal combatants.”

Was this dictum helpful?

THE JUDGEMENT OF A COURT REMAINS BINDING UNTIL SET ASIDE BY AN APPELLATE COURT

It is the law that a ruling or judgment of the court remains valid until it is set aside by an appellate court. The Ruling of Taiwo, J. of the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti of 13/12/16 defroze the account of Ayodele Fayose from which the sum of N75,000,000.00 (Seventy Five Million Naira) being the professional fees paid to the Respondent for services rendered remains the extant decision. The said decision which the Appellant alleged to be perverse has not been set aside, it therefore remains the law, valid and binding, vacating an earlier order made by Idris, J. of the Lagos Division was the extant law as at the time the payment of N75,000,000.00 was made to the Respondent for services rendered. As rightly argued by the learned counsel to the Respondent, at the time the order was made by the lower court defreezing the account of the Respondent’s Chambers, the decision of Taiwo, J. was valid and subsisting until set aside by an appeal court or by the lower court itself if it acted without jurisdiction or in the absence of an aggrieved party. See, ROSSEK & ORS VS. ACB LTD & ORS (1993) LPELR – 2955 (SC) P. 104, PARAS. A – D, OKEZIE VICTOR IKPEAZU VS. ALEX OTTI & ORS (2016) LPELR – 40055 (SC) P. 20, PARAS. A – C, FIDELITY BANK VS. THE M.T. TABORA & ORS (2018) LPELR – 44504 (SC) PP. 6 – 14, PARAS. B – D. In OJIAKO & ORS VS. OGUEZE & ORS (1962) LPELR – 25 116 (SC) P. 31 PARAS. D – E, his lordship Brett, JSC on the validity of a subsisting judgment held that: “Where no question of nullity arises, once the judgment of any competent court is perfected it is valid until set aside by competent authority, and there can be no presumption against the validity of such a judgment.” See, also BEMDOO MINDI VS. THE STATE (2020) LPELR – 52897 (SC) P. 53, PARAS. B – E.

— C.N. Uwa, JCA.FRN v Ozekhome (2021) – CA/L/174/19

Was this dictum helpful?

A DECISION IS PRESUMED CORRECT UNTIL THE ERROR ON APPEAL IS CORRECTED

Under our judicial system In this country, every party not satisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal has a constitutional right to appeal against the decision. See section 213 (2) and (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1979. This right, under the Constitution, the Supreme Court Rules and the Supreme Court Act has to be exercised In the manner prescribed and within the time prescribed by the Act or extended by the Court. Where the right is not exercised, it is presumed that the parties have accepted the judgment given without question and are not aggrieved. Even where a party has appealed against a decision, the decision is presumed correct until the error complained of is established. See Odiase v. Agho (1972) 1 All N.L.R. See Folorunsho v. Adeyemi (1975) 1 N.M.L.R. 128; See Williams v. Johnson (1973) 2 WA.C.A 253. The presumption of correctness of the decision is stronger where there is no appeal against the decision.

— Obaseki, JSC. Foreign Finance Corp. v Lagos State Devt. & Pty. Corp. & Ors. (1991) – SC. 9/1988

Was this dictum helpful?

No more related dictum to show.