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LAWS ARE MADE TO BE OBEYED

Dictum

In the interpretation of the above provision, it must be borne in mind that prima facie the Laws are made to be obeyed. All persons, authorities, agencies of government and government must obey the laws of the land. It is the degree of obedience accorded to the laws of the land that distinguishes the state of development in a given country. When laws are not obeyed, anarchy sets in.

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

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DISTINCTION BETWEEN SUBSTANTIVE & PROCEDURAL LAW

“24, Mr, Onuora rightly set out the distinction between substantive and procedural laws when he said that ‘as a general rule, laws which fix duties, establish rights and responsibilities among and for persons natural or otherwise are substantive laws in character while those which merely prescribe the manner in which such rights and responsibilities may be exercised and enforced in a Court are procedural law.’”

— Ukor v Laleye (2005) – ECW/CCJ/APP/01/04

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ACQUIESCENCE TO IRREGULARITY

Sonuga and Ors v. Anadein (1967) NMLR 77 at 79, the Supreme Court per Lewis, J.S.C. said: “In the appeal before us, the question appears to be, is it right for the defendant to take advantage of an irregularity he had himself accepted and had acted on it, without any harm done to him? We think it is now too late for him to raise an objection.”

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RULES OF COURT MUST BE OBEYED

OFORKIRE VS. MADUIKE ORS. (2003) LPELR – 2269 (SC) held that: “It is elementary law that rules of Court must be obeyed or complied with, as they are not made for fun.”

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RULES OF COURT ARE MEANT TO BE OBEYED

In SOLANKE VS. SOMEFUN (1974) 1 SC 141, Sowemimo, JSC (as he then was) opined: “Rules of Court are meant to be complied with … Rules of Court are made to be followed. They regulate matters in Court and help parties to present their case for purpose of a fair and quick trial. It is the strict compliance with these rules of Court that makes for quicker administration of justice.”

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IRREGULARITY MUST BE SUBSTANTIAL TO WARRANT PROCEEDING NULL

Gabriel Madukolu and Ors v. Johnson Nkemdilim (1962) 1 All NLR 587 at 596, Bairamian F.J., said: “If the court is competent, the proceedings are not a nullity; but they may be attacked on the ground of irregularity in the conduct of the trial; the argument will be that the irregularity was so grave as to affect the fairness of the trial and the soundness of the adjudication. It may turn out that the party complaining was to blame, or had acquiesced in the irregularity… A defect in procedure is not always fatal …”

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WHERE A STATUTE HAS PROVIDED A PROCEDURE SUCH PROCEDURE MUST BE FOLLOWED

In Adejobi v. State (2011) 6 MJSC (Pt 1) 101 @ 119 it was held that: “It is trite that a question of law and jurisdiction can be raised at any time in the proceedings, but it is not a free for all procedure. Where a statute under which an issue or matter is to be raised has provided a procedure for raising such issues or matter, that procedure, and no other must be followed.”

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