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

Dictum

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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SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE OVER TECHNICALITY

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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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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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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MISTAKE TO CAUSE MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE

It is now settled law, that it is not every mistake in a judgment or decision that can warrant the reversal of a decision. To justify a reversal of a decision, the error complained of must be of such a nature to cause real miscarriage of justice. In the instant case, the fact that a breach was considered, even if erroneously, in appeal which does not concern the appellant, cannot be a basis for the appellant to complain.

– Musdapher JSC. Gbadamosi v. Dairo (2007)

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JUSTICE DOES NOT RELY IN FORMS & TECHNICALITIES

Oputa, JSC in Bello v. Oyo State (1986) 5 NWLR (Pt 45) 826 at 886: “the picture of law and its technical rules triumphant and justice prostrate may no doubt have its admirers. But the spirit of justice does not reside in forms, formalities nor in technicalities nor is the triumph of the administration of justice to be found in successfully picking one’s way between pitfalls of technicality. Law and its technical rules ought to be a handmaid to justice…”

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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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