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SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE OVER TECHNICALITY

Dictum

EGOLUM V. OBASANJO (1999) 7 NWLR (Pt.511) 255 at 413, where the Supreme Court, per ACHIKE, JSC, held thus: ‘The heydays of technicalities are now over because the weight of judicial authorities has today shifted from undue reliance on technicalities to doing substantial justice evenhandedly to the parties to the case.”

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AN ERROR OF LAW COMPLAINED OF MUST HAVE CAUSED A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE

OLADEJO ADEWUYI AJUWON & ORS VS FADELE AKANNI & ORS (1993) 12 SCNJ 32 AT 52 this Court held “It is not every error of law that is committed by a trial or appellate Court that justifies the reversal of a judgment. An appellant, to secure the reversal of a judgment, must further establish that the error of law complained of did in fact occasion a miscarriage of justice and/or substantially affected the result of the decision. An error in law which has occasioned no miscarriage of justice is immaterial and may not affect the final decision of a Court. This is because what an Appeal Court has to decide is whether the decision of judge was right and not whether his reasons were, and a misdirection that does not occasion injustice is immaterial. The error in law in applying the doctrine of lis pendens complained of did not occasion any miscarriage of justice. The erroneous application of the doctrine of lis pendens notwithstanding, there was no other course that was open to the Court of Appeal in the appeal than to invalidate the sale in issue and to dismiss the appeal before it”.

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JUSTICE IS A THREE WAY STREET IN ADVERSARIAL SYSTEM

In our adversarial system of justice, justice is a three way street. It must flow to society, the plaintiff and the defendant in equal parts. It is not the exclusive preserve of any party.

– Ogunwumiju JCA. Awure v. Iledu (2007)

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MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE IS FAILURE OF JUSTICE

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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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 OF THE CASE IS DETERMINED BY THE FACTS OF THE CASE

Justice of a case cannot be determined in vacuo but in relation to the facts of the case. Justice so to say, which is not done within the facts of a case is not justifice properly so called but justice in inverted commas and therefore injustice.

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

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WHAT IS MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE?

Miscarriage of justice connotes decision or outcome of legal proceeding that is prejudicial or inconsistent with the substantial rights of the party. Miscarriage of justice means a reasonable probability of more favourable outcome of the case for the party alleging it. Miscarriage of justice is injustice done to the party alleging it. The burden of proof is on the party alleging that the justice has been miscarried.

– Niki Tobi JSC. Gbadamosi v. Dairo (2007)

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