COURT – RAISING ISSUE(S) SUO MOTU – Whether a Court can raise an issue suo motu and determine it without hearing parties


“In the locus classicus, COLE VS MATTINS (Supra), this Court echoed the guiding fundamental principle regarding raising issues or points suo motu by Courts: We have frequently stated in the past and we must reiterate again now, that it is most desirable that if a Court considers after hearing argument of counsel that a matter before it can in fact be decided on a technical point on which it has not been addressed by counsel, the Judge should have the matter reopened and give counsel on each side the opportunity to address him on the point which he thinks may decide the matter before he gives judgment in regard to it. It is in our view only after so doing that a Court should adjudicate on a technical point taken by the Court itself, particularly when the defect, if there is one, could be cured if the Court in its discretion give leave to amend. Per Lewis, JSC @ 163. See also REGISTERED TRUSTEEES OF APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF LAGOS AREA VS AKINDELE (1967) NMLR 263 per Lewis, JSC @ 264; TRUTEC INVESTMENTS SERVICE LTD VS. MONIPULE LTD: CA/L/308M/03; 18/03/2010, Per Saulawa, JCA (as he then was).” Per IBRAHIM MOHAMMED MUSA SAULAWA, JSC inADEGBANKE v. OJELABI & ORS (2021-LCER-40456-SC) (Pp 53 – 54 Paras B – A)

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