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SENTIMENT HAS NO PLACE IN OUR COURTS

Dictum

If I go by sentiments, having regard to the facts of this case leading to this appeal and as appear in the lead Judgment of my learned brother, Oguntade, J.S.C., I may be inclined to allow this appeal. But it is now firmly settled, that sentiments, have no place in our courts including this court. See the cases of Ezeugo v. Ohanyere (1978) 6-7 S.C. 171 @ 184; Omote & Sons Ltd. v. Adeyemo & 9 ors. (1994) 4 NWLR (Pt.336) 48 C.A. and Orhue v. NEPA (1998) 7 NWLR (Pt.557) 107; (1998) 5 SCNJ 126@ 141.

— Ogbuagu, JSC. Grosvenor v Halaloui (2009) – SC.373/2002

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RULES OF COURT VIOLATED SHOULD BE STATED

The question remains whether the claimants were wrong in filing an affidavit when the defendant did not file any as to its preliminary objection. I must first point out that the argument of the defendant, that the claimants violated the Rules of this Court in filing an affidavit in opposition to the preliminary objection when the defendant did not, is one the defendant made without stating the Rules of this Court that were violated.

— B.B. Kanyip J. FG v. ASUU (2023) – NICN/ABJ/270/2022

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SECTION 12 OF THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT ACT PERMITS THE COURT TO BE FLEXIBLE

The very first thing a labour court understands is the difficulty of the employee accessing documents to prove his/her case. It is as a result of all of this that the NIC, as a special Court, is permitted under section 12 of the NIC Act 2006 to be flexible, informal and depart from the Evidence Act if the interest of justice so demands. The NIC realizes that section 12 of its enabling Act is not license to act anyhow. So when it comes to admissibility of especially documentary evidence, the NIC insists that once the issue of authenticity is raised, particular care must be taken to admit only documents that are authentic; and in deserving cases the NIC had refused to admit inappropriate documents even when section 12 of the NIC Act was relied on.

— B.B. Kanyip, J. Awogu v TFG Real Estate (2018) – NICN/LA/262/2013

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COURT CAN USE APPLICABLE LAW WITHOUT PARTY’S CONSENT

Ochoga v. Military Administrator, Benue State (2001) 1 NWLR (Pt. 695) page 570 at page 582, it was held thus: “If a party is entitled to a remedy or a relief and it is rightly claimed, he does not lose same by applying for it under a wrong law. This is because the trial court can, in the interest of justice, use the applicable law.”

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JUDICIAL POWERS SHALL EXTEND TO ALL PERSONS

ALH. WAHAB ODEYALE & ANR. V. ALH. HAMMED OLAPADE BABATUNDE & ORS. (2009) – CA/I/106/2006:
“In my considered view, the constitutional provisions is very clear and unambiguous, and there is need for the court to give its ordinary meaning without any sort of ambiguity. That jurisdiction given to the courts shall extend to all matters between persons or between government or authority and to any person in Nigeria and to all actions and proceedings relating thereto for the determination of any question as to the civil rights and obligations.”

PER ISTIFANUS THOMAS, J.C.A.

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MISTAKE OF REGISTRY WILL NOT BE VISITED ON LITIGANT

Cooperative And Commerce Bank Nig. Ltd. Plc V. Attorney General Anambra State & Anor (1992) 8 NWLR (Pt. 261) 528 at 561 held as follows;
“it will be contrary to all principles to allow litigants to suffer for the mistake of the Court Registry. In other words, the Court will not visit the sin of the Court’s Registry on a litigant or his counsel, unless, it was shown that the litigant or his counsel was a party thereto or had full knowledge of the sin or mistake and encouraged or condoned the said act. Therefore, on the authorities, justice, equity, fairness and good conscience, must persuade me, to hold further that this appeal deserves to succeed and it in fact does.”

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THE COURT IS TO CONSIDER DEFENCES FOR THE ACCUSED

In criminal trial, not only must the defences of the accused be considered, the Court is bound to consider the defences available to the accused which the accused himself did not raise, especially where the accused is facing a trial in which his life is at stake. See Nwankwoala v. The State (2006) 14 NWLR (Pt. 1000) 663; Adebayo v. The Republic (1962) NWLR 391; Akpabio v. The State (1994) 7 NWLR (Pt. 359) 653; Oguntolu v. The State (1996) 2 NWLR (Pt. 432) 503; Malam Zakari Ahmed v. The State (1999) 7 NWLR (Pt. 612) 641 at 679 and 681.

— P.A. Galinje JSC. Onuwa Kalu v. The State (SC.474/2011, 13 Apr 2017)

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