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TECHNICAL VS SUBSTANTIVE JUSTICE

Dictum

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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COURTS NOW CONCERNED WITH REAL JUSTICE NOT TECHNICALITIES

Courts these days are concerned with real justice and not technical justice. It would be clear technical justice to hold that the suit in the instant case is statute barred when it was commenced within time and with judgments in favour of the the Respondent in the two Lower Courts but at the Supreme Court was struck out on the ground of lack of jurisdiction by the Federal High Court.

– Iyizoba, JCA. SIFAX v. MIGFO (2015)

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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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THE AIM OF JUSTICE IS TO DO SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE BETWEEN THE PARTIES

Law is blind. It has no eyes. It cannot see. That explains why a statue of a woman with her eyes covered can be found in front of some High Courts. On the contrary justice is not blind. It has many eyes, it sees, and sees very well. The aim of courts is to do substantial justice between the parties and any technicality that rears its ugly head to defeat the cause of justice will be rebuffed by the court. See Bello v. A.G, Oyo State (1986) 12 SC P.1 Bello v. Ringim (1991) 7 NWLR Pt.206 P.675 When justice is done it brings joy to the Righteous. See Proverbs 21:15.

— O. Rhodes-Vivour, JSC. Wassah & Ors. v. Kara & Ors. (2014) – SC.309/2001

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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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THE LAW IS ON THE SUCCESSFUL PARTY’S SIDE

Generally, the law is on the side of the successful party, to assist him to reap the benefit(s) of the judgment. See NZERIBE V. DAVE ENGINEERING CO. LTD. (1994) 9 SCNJ 161.

— I.G. Mbaba, JCA. Ogunleye v. Aina (2012) – CA/IL/22/2011

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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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