ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ORDER OF MANDAMUS – Meaning and nature of an order of mandamus; condition(s) that must exist before same can be granted


“It is settled law that an Order of Mandamus is a high prerogative writ which lies to secure the performance of a public duty in the performance of which the applicant has a sufficient legal interest. It gives a command that a duty or function of a public nature, which normally, though not necessarily, is imposed by statute but is neglected or refused to be done after due demand, be done. In Ayida & Ors v. Town Planning Authority & Anor (2013) LPELR 20410 (SC), this Court opined thus: “Mandamus is a writ issued by a Court to compel the performance of a particular act by an Administrative Body. It is on equitable remedy granted of the discretion of the Court and as with all exercise of discretion the Judge is expected to consider the rules governing it and not act as he likes. Before the Writ of Mandamus is granted by a Judge, the Judge must be satisfied that the applicant has sufficient interest in the matter to which the application relates and that he demanded the performance of a public duty from the Administrative Body (or those responsible) and they refused to comply. There is also the added responsibility for the demand to be made timeously. Consequently, any person who approaches the Court asking that the law should be enforced provided he is affected by it has sufficient interest. The Court will not entertain on application from a busybody or meddlesome interlopers who interfere in things that do not concern them, but would readily entertain an application from a person who asks that the law should be declared and enforced.” See also: Fawehinmi v. IGP & Ors. (2002) LPELR 1258 (SC).” Per ABDU ABOKI, JSC in FANYAM v. GOV. OF BENUE STATE & ORS (2022-LCER-46523-SC) (Pp 26 – 27; Paras C – E)

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