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TO VARY COURT JUDGEMENT, RESPONDENT NEEDS TO FILE RESPONDENT’S NOTICE

Dictum

The 1st defendant cannot in the circumstances of this case, it not having appealed and not having filed a respondent’s notice, pray for a variation in the judgment in its favour.

— Obaseki, JSC. Foreign Finance Corp. v Lagos State Devt. & Pty. Corp. & Ors. (1991) – SC. 9/1988

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A COURT WILL TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE OF HIS JUDGEMENT, REPORTED OR UNREPORTED

I think it is fairly well settled and not a matter of argument that a court will take judicial notice of its records and proceedings. In respect of the valid judgments of a court of Record, the court will readily take judicial notice of its judgments reported and unreported. I would not draw any distinction between panels of the same court. A decision of one panel is a decision of the Court and each Panel will take judicial notice of it. In my view, it is only for convenience that published report of valid judgments of court or copies of its unreported judgments are brought before a court. They need not be, they could just be cited.

— Nnamani JSC. Gbaniyi Osafile v. Paul Odi (SC 149/1987, 4th day of May 1990)

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COURT OF APPEAL IS BOUND BY HER PREVIOUS JUDGEMENT

This is a hypothetical and an academic question but my answer to the question is in the affirmative, i.e., that the Court of Appeal is bound by its previous judgments. It is also bound by the judgments of the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal has not contended the contrary. Since the Court of Appeal sits in divisions, now there exists the danger of decisions delivered in one division conflicting with decisions in another division.

— Obaseki, JSC. Foreign Finance Corp. v Lagos State Devt. & Pty. Corp. & Ors. (1991) – SC. 9/1988

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NATURE OF A DECLARATORY JUDGMENT

A Declaratory judgment or order is one that proclaims or declares the existence of a legal relationship, but does not contain any order which may be enforced against the defendant. Once rights declared in a declaratory judgment are infringed fresh proceedings are needed for enforcement. Declaratory judgments cannot be enforced by execution, as there is nothing to enforce. So where a court delivers a declaratory judgment, the party appealing may be granted an injunction if he deserves it but never a stay of execution pending the determination of the appeal.

– Rhodes-Vivour, JSC. Olabomi v. Oyewinle (2013) – SC.345/2012

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DURING JUDGEMENT DELIVERING, IT IS NOT NECESSARY FOR ALL PANEL MEMBERS TO BE PRESENT

Now, the Committee is a Tribunal and not a regular court. Even in a court that a Panel is constituted including the two Appellate Courts in this country, it has been held that, it is not necessary for all the Justices that heard the matter, to be present during the delivery of their judgment. Indeed, one of them can read out and deliver the judgment of the Court in the open court. (See the case of Okino v Obanabira & 4 others (1999) 12 SCNJ 27).

— Ogbuagu JSC. Ndukwe v LPDC [2007] – SC 48/2003

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TRIAL COURT HAS POWER TO ENFORCE ITS OWN JUDGEMENT

The judgment subsists and remains binding on the parties until set aside; and it took immediate effect from the date it was pronounced. Section 287(3) of the Constitution enjoins the said trial Court to enforce its own judgment.

— Ejembi Eko, JSC. Oboh & Anor v. NFL (SC.841/2016, January 28, 2022)

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A CONCURRING OPINION HAS EQUAL WEIGHT AND FORCE AS A LEAD JUDGEMENT

It is settled law that a contributory or concurring judgment has equal weight as the lead judgment. It is part of the lead judgment and therefore has the same force and binding effect. The mere fact that a concurring or contributory judgment contains what is not in the lead judgment will not whittle down its binding effect. Thus in Olufeagba & Ors v. Abdur Raheem (2009) LPELR-2613(SC), my Lord Fabiyi, JSC said: “A concurring judgment, has equal weight with or as a lead judgment. A concurring judgment compliments, edifies and adds to the lead judgment, when the justice, add to it certain aspects which the writer of the lead judgment did not remember to deal with. In so far as a concurring judgment performs same or all the above functions, it has equal force with or as the lead judgment in so far as the principles of stare decisis are concerned.”

— H.S. Tsammani, JCA. APM v INEC & Ors. (2023) – CA/PEPC/04/2023

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