Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

WHAT IS INEQUITABLE CONDUCT

Dictum

The mere mention of “inequitable conduct” is a pointer to the equitable doctrine “He who comes into equity must come with clean hands”. This maxim will deny a relief to a complainant, who is himself guilty of inequitable conduct in reference to the matter in controversy. This means that the plaintiff must, in the matter of his claim, be free from any taint of fraud or bad faith. The cleanliness of hands must therefore relate to the matter of his claim, to the transaction in controversy. What bars the claim is not a general depravity but one which has an immediate and necessary relation to the equity sued for.

– Oputa, JSC. Adejumo v. Ayantegbe (1989)

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

JUSTICE CANNOT BE METED TO SOMEONE WHO HAS HIS HANDS SOILED

This court being a court of justice is a temple of justice adhering to the symbol of a blindfolded woman with a scale on one hand and a sword on the other to render “justice” (not injustice), to all manner of people. Indeed the beauty and greatness nay the purity of justice, in all its consuming allure and essence is to ferret out from the mass of facts and law before it, relevant points in order to give remedy to anyone who comes for that. It is not justice meted to someone who does not deserve it when that person craving for it has his hand soiled, blemished, and besmirched. It is my view that the appellants cannot eat their cake and have it. I believe that it is not only the litigants in this case but millions of our country men with an abiding faith in the nature of our jurisprudence as practised in our courts’ who have access to the courts to seek justice not adulterated justice, or justice shrouded in clouds of euphemisms or where the court would wring its hands and declare that the case does follow a regular or laid down pattern that would benefit from justice founded on law and ethics.

– Pats-Acholonu, J.S.C. Pinder v. North (2004)

Was this dictum helpful?

TRIAL JUDGE IMPORTED EQUITABLE CONSIDERATION INTO HIS JUDGEMENT

By importing equitable consideration into his judgment, the learned trial Judge by what I term judicial legislation threw overboard and or repealed Exhibit –D” which is the applicable customary law to the chieftaincy. The court does not have that power. The office of the judge is jus dicere, not jus dare. See Okumagba v. Egbe (1965) All NLR 62 at 67.

— Ogwuegbu, JSC. Ogundare v Ogunlowo (1997) – SC.25/1994

Was this dictum helpful?

QUI PRIOR EST TEMPORE POTIOR EST JURE – EARLIER IN TIME IS STRONGEST IN LAW

So, then at law as in equity the basic rule is that estates and interest order of primary rank in the creation, Qui prior est tempore potior est jure,. he who is earlier in time is stronger in law. Thus where there are two competing equitable interests, the general rule of equity is that the person whose equity attached to the property first will be entitled to priority over the other. Where therefore, the equities are equal and neither claimant has the legal estate, the first in time prevails as in the instant appeal, the equitable interest of the 1st Respondent being prior in time to the equitable interest of the 1st Appellant, the law is that it is the 1st Respondent’s equitable interest in the land in dispute being first in time that would prevail over the equitable interest of the 1st 48 Respondent since the equities are equal.

— B.A. Georgewill, JCA. Anyi & Ors. v. Akande & Ors. (2017) – CA/L/334/2014

Was this dictum helpful?

PARTY CANNOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AN ILLEGALITY HE KNOWS

A party cannot resile from his obligation under a contract because he never followed what the law required; in essence he cannot take refuge from his contractual obligations on the pre of his own illegality in so far as the other party was not aware of the illegality at the time of the transaction.

– Belgore, J.S.C. Pinder v. North (2004)

Was this dictum helpful?

EQUITY AIDS THE VIGILANT

Whoever seeks equitable remedy like specific performance must show that he is vigilant and does all that was required of him to have clear hand to enforce the contract. Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt.

– Belgore, JSC. Nlewedim v. Uduma (1995)

Was this dictum helpful?

WHERE EQUITABLE INTEREST WILL OVERRIDE LEGAL INTEREST

Jared v. Clements 1903 (Supra), a decision of a strong court, Collins M.R. Romer & Cozens-Hardy L.JJ.-Romer L.J. made the following observation: “A person contracts to purchase certain property. Before completion he is told of an equitable mortgage created some time before by his vendor. What is the position of the completing purchaser when he knows of this? He knows he cannot get title from his vendor unless that outstanding equitable interest is got in or destroyed; and if he completes without that equitable interest being got in or destroyed, he can only take the property subject to that outstanding interest being got in or destroyed. In order to get a good title, it is for him to see that the outstanding interest is got in or destroyed – the purchaser might have asked that the equitable mortgagee should join in the conveyance. He might have gone himself to the equitable mortgagee and asked how matters stood; or he might have done what in fact he did, and asked the vendor to get in the equitable interest …”

Was this dictum helpful?

No more related dictum to show.