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PARTIES CANNOT RESILE FROM AN ARBITRAL AWARD

Dictum

In Commerce Assurance v. Alli (1986) 3 NWLR (Pt. 29) 404, (1992) 3 NWLR (Pt.232) 710 at 725 paragraph E, the Supreme Court per Nnaemeka-Agu JSC said: “The underlying principle is that parties to a dispute have a choice. They may resort to the normal machinery for administration of justice by going to the regular courts of the land and have their disputes determined both as to the fact and to the law, by the courts. Or, they may choose the arbitrator to be Judge between them. If they take the latter course, they cannot when the award is good on the face of it, object to the award on grounds of law or of facts.”

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NO LAW MAKES PARTY APPEARANCE IN COURT MANDATORY

Instructively, there is no law making it compulsory for a party in a civil action to appear physically in Court. All that is necessarily required, in the best interest of good administration of justice, is that the day to day judicial schedule (Cause List) of the Court is not stultified or frustrated by non-appearance of a party before it.

– I.M.M. Saulawa JCA. Owhor v. Obodo (2020) – CA/PH/448/2017

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DIRECTING PERSONAL ATTENDANCE OF APPELLANT INFRINGES LIBERTY

The order of the Court directing the personal attendance of the appellants is an interference with their liberty as provided under Section 35 of the Constitution 1999 (as amended) when there is no law or rules of Court expressly authorizing the infringement.

– Chima Centus Nweze, J.S.C. Independent National Electoral Commission & Anor v. Ejike Oguebego & Ors (2017)

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IT IS DUTY OF PARTIES TO PUT THEIR FACTS BEFORE THE COURT

It is not for this Court to embark on an investigation to which it has not been called. It is the duty of the parties to put their facts before the courts in order for a judicial decision to be pronounced, both on the facts and the law involved.

– Sowemimo, JSC. Shodeinde v. Ahmadiyya (1983) – SC.64/1982

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WHO IS AN INTERESTED PARTY IN A LITIGATION

✓ Nigerian Social Insurance Trust v. Klifco Nigeria Ltd (2010)LPELR 22 23 Paras CE as follows: ‘As regards the phrase “a person interested “I agree with the respondent that the phrase has been examined in the case of Evan v. Noble (1949) 1 KB 222 at 225 where a person not interested in the outcome of action has been described as, a person who has no temptation to depart from the truth one side or the other, a person not swayed by personal interest but completely detached, judicial, impartial, independent’. In other words, it contemplates that the person must be detached, independent, and non-partisan and really not interested which way in the context the case goes. Normally, a person who is performing an act in official capacity cannot be a person interested under Section 91(3). I think the phrase a person interested’ ever moreso has been quite definitively put in the case of Holton v. Holton (1946) 2 AER 534 at 535 to mean a person who has pecuniary or other material interest in the result of the proceeding a person whose interest is affected by the result of the proceedings, and, therefore would have no temptation to pervert the truth to serve his personal or private ends. It does not mean an interest in the sense of intellectual observation or an interest purely due to sympathy. It means an interest in the legal sense, which imports something to be gained or lost.’

✓ In C.P.C. v. Ombugadu (2013) ALL FWLR (Pt.706) 406 at 472 473 Para H B when considering and determining who is a person interested under Section 91(3) of the Evidence Act 2011 held thus: “By the provision of Section 91(3), Evidence Act, a person interested is a person who has a pecuniary or other material interest and is affected by the result of the proceedings and therefore would have a temptation to pervert the truth to serve his personal or private ends. It does not mean an interest purely due to sympathy. It means an interest in the legal sense which imports something be gained or lost”.

✓ In fact, in its most recent decision in OYETOLA & ANOR v INEC & ORS (2023) LPELR-60392(SC), the Supreme Court, per Agim, JSC restated this position in the following words: “The other evidence adduced by the Appellant to prove their case is the expert analysis report prepared by PW1, who by his own admission is a member of the 2nd Appellant and had been a Special Assistant to the 1st Appellant and was engaged by the Appellants to establish the invalidity of the disputed results in Form EC8A for the 744 polling units. He testified further that “I made the report as directed by the Petitioners” and that “I am part of those who wrote the Petition”. By his own testimony he established that he was no an independent expert as he had an interest in the subject of his analysis and carried out the analysis from the conclusion that the results were invalid, to justify to support the contemplated election petition. It was an analysis from an answer and not from a question. Such a report is not the product of an independent, impartial, detached and professional analysis. He is clearly a person with the disposition or temptation to depart from the truth… The listing of the expert analysis report in the Petition among the documents to be relied on to prove the petition show it was made in anticipation or contemplation to be filed. The report having been made by PW1 as a person interested in the subject matter of the report when the petition was anticipated to establish that the election result was invalid is not admissible evidence.

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SUCCESSFUL PARTY IS ENTITLED TO COST EXCEPT WHERE SPECIAL REASON IS SHOWN

A successful party is entitled to costs unless there are special reasons why he should be deprived of his entitlement. In making an award of costs, the Court must act judiciously and judicially. That is to say with correct and convincing reasons. See Per RHODES-VIVOUR, JSC in NNPC V. CLIFCO NIG. LTD (2011) LPELR-2022(SC) (P. 23, PARAS. D-A).

— U.M. Abba Aji, JSC. Cappa v NDIC (2021) – SC.147/2006

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