In Ushie v. Agbalu (2013) JELR 51127 (CA), the court relied on: Iyoho v. Effiong where the Supreme Court per A. M. Mukthar, JSC (as she then was) said: “Although the word ‘may’ is used in the provision, it does not necessarily mean that it means permissible. ‘May’ in ‘Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th Edition, page 1000, has been defined inter alia as ‘loosely, is required to; shall; must…In dozens of cases, courts have held may to be synonymous with shall or must, usually in an effort to effectuate legislative intent.”
It is now trite law that in the quest to interpret or construe the provisions of a statute or the Constitution, the Court or Tribunal must construe or interpret the statute or the Constitution in order to bring out plainly the real intention of the Lawmaker or the framers of the Constitution and thus enhance its purpose. The Court or Tribunal has a bounden duty to consider as a whole the entire provisions of the law or the Constitution involved. The Statute or the Constitution in question must not be construed in a manner that will do violence to the provisions being interpreted and must not be interpreted to defeat the ultimate design or purpose of the Constitution or statute that calls for interpretation.
– OLABISI IGE, JCA. Petroleum Resources v. SPDC (2021)