CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – RIGHT TO FAIR HEARING – Attribute of the principle of fair hearing; whether a party must be given a hearing before a decision is taken against him


“Fundamentally, there are some basic attributes of fair hearing: (i) That the Court shall accord hearing to both sides in regard to all material issues or points in the case before reaching a decision which may be prejudicial to any of the parties thereon: SHELDON VS BROMFIEL JUSTICES (1964) 2 QB 573 @ 578; (ii) That the Court shall give equal treatment, opportunity and consideration to all the parties concerned: ADIGUN VS. AG, OYO STATE (1987) 1, NWLR (PC 53) 678. (iii) That the proceedings of the Court shall be held in public and all parties concerned shall have un restricted access to and be notified of such avenue of public hearing; and (iv) That having regard to the circumstances surrounding the case, in every material decision arrived at, justice must not only be done but manifestly and unquestionably be seen to have been done: R VS. SUSSEX JUSTICES, EXPARTE MC CARTHY (1924) 1 KB 256 @ 259; DEDUWA VS. OKORODUDU (1976) 10 SC 329. ?The foregoing trite attributes of the fundamental right to fear hearing, are to the combined effect that where a Court or Tribunal is to determine the civil rights and obligations of a person, or to find him guilty or liable of a fault, then he must be accorded a hearing before the decision can be taken thereupon. See, Section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. BABA VS. NCATC, ZARIA (1991) LPELR – 692 (SC) Per Nnaemeka – Agu, JSC @ 17 paragraphs D – F.” Per SAULAWA, JSC inADEGBANKE v. OJELABI & ORS (2021-LCER-40456-SC) (Pp 51 – 52 Paras A – B)

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