EVIDENCE – JUDICIAL NOTICE – Duty of lower Courts to take judicial notice of relevant cases or decisions of apex Court

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“The trial Court having been given particulars of the decisions of the Court of Appeal grounded the plea of estoppel and in fact, intimated of the outcome of the appeal against same to this Honourable Court, was entitled to take judicial notice of that judgment. In OKONKWO & ORS V. OKONKWO & ORS (2010) LPELR-9357(SC), this Court Per Adekeye, J.S.C at Pp.33- 34, stated thus:- “The learned trial judge relied on the case of Adisa v. Oyinwola to reinforce his stand that the Onitsha High Court could exercise jurisdiction on hand in non-urban areas of the State. The stand of the learned trial judge was appropriate as he could take judicial notice under Section 73 of the Evidence Act of the latest decision of the Supreme Court on the controversial issue of land situate in non-urban areas of the State. The judgment came into force before the Court delivered its judgment in this case at the end of July 2000.” In the persuasive authority of Idris v. A.N.P.P. (2000) 8 NWLR (pt. 1088) 1 at 155, the Court below held per Owoade, JCA that: “A Court of law is perfectly entitled to take judicial notice of all laws, including the pronouncement of the Supreme Court. In the instant case, the existence of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Action Congress v. INEC (2007) 12 NWLR (Pt. 048) 222 was a fact in issue under Section 52 of the Evidence Act, Cap. 112, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990, and the Tribunal rightly took judicial notice of the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in the case to the effect that INEC had no powers to disqualify any candidate from contesting an election on the basis of an indictment not made by a Court of law.” In the instant case, there was a pronouncement of this Court dismissing the appellant’s appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Appeal No. CA/E/80/88 to which the attention of the trial Court was drawn vide the 2nd Respondent’s pleadings. His Lordship was entitled to and in fact ought to have taken judicial notice of that judgment by this Honourable Court.” Per MARY UKAEGO PETER-ODILI, JSC in ADALMA TANKERS BUNKERING SERVICES LTD & ANOR v. CBN & ORS (2022-LCER-46528-SC) (Pp 59 – 61; Paras D – B)

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