ACTION – STATUTE BARRED ACTION – Meaning, nature and purpose of statute bar; effect where an action is statute barred


“The term “statute barred” simply means barred by a provision of the statute. It is usually as to time i.e. the bar gives a time limit during which certain actions or steps should be taken and one is barred from taking action after the period specified in the statute. Any action taken after or outside the specified limit or period is of no avail and has no valid effect. The bar can be lifted or the limit extended only if the statute allows it to be done. Where there was no such extension, the action carried out will be invalid, and the Court will treat it as such. See the case of Araka v. Ejeagwu (2000) 12 S.C. (Pt. 1) 99, (2000) 15 NWLR (Pt. 692) 684. The purpose of this is to bring an end to litigation so that persons with good causes can pursue them on time before human memory starts to fade or witnesses become untraceable. See the cases of INEC v. Ogbadibo & Ors. (2015) LPELR-24839 (SC), (2016) 3 NWLR (Pt,1498) 167; Ajayi v. Adebiyi & Ors. (2012) LPELR-7811 (SC), (2012) 11 NWLR (Pt.1310) 137.” Per ADAMU JAURO, JSC in AGUMA v. APC & ORS (2021-LCER-40458-SC) (Pp 31 – 32 Paras F – D)

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