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MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE IS FAILURE OF JUSTICE

Dictum

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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TECHNICAL VS SUBSTANTIVE JUSTICE

There is also the view of some counsel that the decision in Okafor v. Nweke had to do with technical justice. I agree that the age of technical justice is gone. The current vogue is substantial justice. See: Dada v. Dosumu (2006) 12 PNJSC 115. But substantial justice can only be attained not by bending the law but by applying it as it is; not as it ought to be. There is nothing technical in applying the provisions of sections 2(1) and 24 of the Legal Practitioners Act as it is drafted by the Legislature. The law should not be bent to suit the whims and caprices of the parties/counsel. One should not talk of technicality when a substantive provision of the law is rightly invoked.

— J.A. Fabiyi, JSC. FBN v. Maiwada (2012) – SC.269/2005

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

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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TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE

It is said that justice delayed is justice denied. The reverse is equally disturbing. Justice rushed is a travesty of justice and a threat to the fabric that binds civilized society together. As if the rushed justice was not bad enough, the panel presented to the Taraba House of Assembly an incomplete and edited report upon which the appellant was removed on the 4th October, 2012, the day following the submission of the report. At least, the respondents did not disclaim the incomplete and edited report.

– Ngwuta, J.S.C. Danladi v. Dangiri (2014)

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JUSTICE DOES NOT TILT BY VIRTUE OF THE PERSONS BEFORE THE COURT

By our trial process court relies on what parties have lawfully brought before the court and their evidence In support of those matters will dictate where the scale of justice tilts. But under no circumstances will the scale be tilted by virtue of the personalities In a case or importance of a case In the eyes of the public, for cases are not decided by public acclaim, I lathe lawful evidence that influence the fate of every case.

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

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DOING SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE IN ALL CASES

Niki Tobi(JSC) (Blessed memory) in Samuel Ayo Omoju v. FRN [2008]ALL FWLR (Pt.415) 1656 at1671-1672 paras. G-B; espoused on doing substantial justice in all cases quipped thus – Substantial justice, which is actual and concrete justice, is justice personified. It is secreted in the elbows of cordial and fair jurisprudence with a human face and understanding. It is excellent to follow in our law. It pays to follow it as it brings invaluable dividends in any legal system anchored or predicated on the rule of law.

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