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PLEADINGS: LEGAL RESULT OF THE DOCUMENT NEED NOT BE STATED

Dictum

On issue of whether the respondent should have pleaded the legal effect of the notice of the breach as a fact before it is tendered. This is a clear misconception of the modern rule on pleadings. The strict rigid old legal terminology of pleading have since changed in line with new procedures. The pleader is not bound to state the legal result of a document pleaded or fact pleaded.

– Agim JSC. Pillars v. William (2021)

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DEPARTING FROM PLEADINGS GOES TO NO ISSUE

This was raised by the appellant who claimed that it became his property on dissolution of the partnership and ceased to be partnership property. Having raised it, the onus of proof lay on him to establish by evidence that the property ceased to be partnership property. That is the law. However, he claimed in his testimony that the property was never partnership property but his own personal property. Since this was a departure from the pleadings, it went to no issue. Further, the Court will not allow a party to depart from the case set out in his pleadings. See Abimbola George v. Dominion Flour Mills (1963) All NLR. 71.

— Obaseki, JSC. Salawu Ajide V. Kadiri Kelani (SC.76/1984, 29 Nov 1985)

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APPLICATION TO DISMISS AN ACTION WILL BE DETERMINED ON STATEMENT OF CLAIM ONLY

It is settled principle of law that when a Defendant files an application (such as the one that has given rise to this appeal) to strike out or dismiss an action on the ground that it disclosed no reasonable cause of action, he is, for the purpose of the application, taken to have admitted the facts alleged in the Statement of Claim. And in the determination of the application, the Court is bound to restrict itself to the Statement of Claim and to proceed on the assumption that the facts therein have been although the facts in the Statement of Claim are admitted, the Plaintiff has not, on the face of such facts, made out a case to warrant a trial or that he has, in law, a complete answer to the Plaintiffs case. See F.C.D.A. v NAIBI (1990) 3 N.W.L.R. (Part 138) 270 at 281; IMANA v ROBINSON (1979) 3-4 SC 1 at 9-10; U.D.C. v LADIPO (1971) 1 ALL N.L.R. 102; FADARE v A.G. OYO STATE (1982) 4 SC 1; TANDON v CFAO of ACCRA 10 WACA 186; AKANBI v ALAO (1989) 3 N.W.L.R. (Part 108) 118 at 140 and 153; EGBE v ADEFARASIN (1985) 1NWLR (Part 3) 549 at 556.

— F.F. Tabai JSC. Stephens Eng. Ltd. v. S.A. Yakubu (2009) – SC.153/2002

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GENERAL TRAVERSE IS NOT AN EFFECTIVE DENIAL

A general traverse is not an effective denial of essential or material averments in the opposing party’s pleading. – Kekere-Ekun, J.S.C. Union Bank v. Chimaeze (2014)

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PARTIES BOUND BY PLEADINGS – EVIDENCE NOT PLEADED

It is elementary law that parties are bound by their pleadings and facts not pleaded will go to no issue. In other words, evidence on facts not pleaded will not avail the party relying on the evidence.

– Niki Tobi JSC. Okonkwo v. Cooperative Bank (2003)

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STATUTES ARE NOT TO BE PLEADED IN PLEADINGS

The position of the Appellant’s learned Counsel that the Appellant did not need to plead the provisions of p.4 of the Chinese Regulation concerning the transport of hazardous goods stems from the stated position that pleadings need no longer be technical and that it is no longer necessary to plead statutes and sections of statutes but that it is sufficient if the material facts only are pleaded.

– O. Daniel-Kalio, JCA. Egypt v. Abdoulaye (2017) – CA/K/540/2014

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AMENDMENT OF PLEADINGS – TECHNICAL JUSTICE – SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE

With due deference to learned counsel for the appellants, the aim of amending pleadings in general is to enable the court to decide the rights of the parties, and not to punish them for mistakes made in the conduct of their cases by deciding otherwise than in accordance with their rights. The age of technicalities is now history. Substantial justice is the order of the day. So it is either you get moving on the train of justice or you get left behind, with the necklace of technicalities wrapped around your neck to keep you warm company or, on the other hand, to choke you.

– SANKEY, J.C.A, Awure v. Iledu (2007)

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