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On Effect of signing of court process in the name of a law firm

“The fatal effect of the signing of an originating process by a law firm is that the entire Suit was incompetent ab initio. It was dead at the point of filing. This highlights the painful realities that confronts a litigant when counsel fails to sign processes as stipulated by law. The originating process, as in this case, is fundamentally defective and incompetent. It is inchoate (and) legally non-existent. In this case, the originating processes filed at the trial Court were defective and incompetent. The trial was, therefore, a nullity.” Per AUGIE J.S.C. in NNALIMUO & ORS v. Read More

On Nature & Attitude of court to Technical Justice

“The insistence of the appellant’s counsel on the learned trial Judge failing “to formally grant leave for the amendment” is nothing but sheer insistence on crass or arcane technicality. … As far as he is concerned, like Shylock in the Merchant of Venice, the rules must be followed to the last sentence, the last word and the last letter. The party emphasising on technicality has little or no regard to the justice that would be sacrificed, or injustice that would be caused to the opponent. The attitude of the Courts, these days is to enthrone substantial justice without undue adherence to technicalities. ” Per EKO, J.S.C. in OSAREREN V. F.R.N. (2018-LCER- Read More

The beauty of salt is in its taste. Once salt loses its own taste, its value is irredeemably lost. I say this now and again, our security agencies, particularly the police, are not debt recovery agencies. The agencies themselves need to first come to this realization, shun all entreaties in this regard and they will see  confidence gradually restored in them.

Where we are now in this country is that place where our “Men in black & blue” command almost no respect from the citizenry because of how low we have sunk. But it is my belief which belief, I must say I hold very dearly, that all hope is not lost, many women and men of deep integrity are in our security agencies, and they only need to rise now to the occasion. The first issue is resolved against the Appellant. Per BAGE, J.S.C. in DIAMOND BANK PLC V. … Read More

Signing of Notice of appeal in criminal appeals

‘There is no dispute as to whether the appellant instructed his counsel to appeal. What is in issue is whether the Notice of Appeal in a criminal matter signed by counsel is a competent notice of appeal. The answer is an emphatic No. order 16 Rule 4(1) Court of Appeal Rules 2007 provides as follows:- “Every notice of appeal or notice of application for leave to appeal or notice of application for extension of time within which such notice shall be given, shall be signed by the appellant himself, except under the provision of paragraphs (5) and (6) of this Rule. ‘If the person who is appealing was alleged during trial to be insane or of unsound mind and therefore not responsible in law for his actions or incapable of making his defence and also if it is a body corporate, the Notice may be given and signed by his legal representative. In the case of a body corporate the Notice can be signed by the secretary, clerk, manager or legal representative of the company.” Per AKAAHS, J.S.C in … Read more

LEGAL PRACTITIONER – Mistake or Inadvertence of counsel – Circumstances under which it may be considered

As pointed out in the leading ruling of my noble Lord Augie JSC, inadvertence of counsel is now being used as a good reason for failure to appeal within time. Where such inadvertence arises as a result of indolence or sheer negligence of counsel, the indulgence being sought should be refused. I wish to add that except for unforeseen situations such as sickness of counsel, the request should be refused. But even in the case of sickness, unless the counsel is the only legal practitioner in the Chambers, an application for extension of time within which to seek leave to appeal should be refused except where the issues involved are novel issues of law which have not been pronounced upon.” Per AKA’AHS, J.S.C. in GTB PLC V… Read More

“Mistake” and “Ineptitude” of counsel – Distinction between – Current trend in judicial practice and Attitude of court to ineptitude of counsel – Whether cannot be visited on the litigant

“The 1990 warning of Nnaemeka, JSC, in Iroegbu v. Okwordu (supra) remained unheeded and because of the frequency of attributing almost all non-compliance with the law and rules of court on the “mistake” or “inadvertence” of counsel, the current trend in judicial practice is to distinguish inadvertence of counsel from the ineptitude of counsel – see a recent judgment of this court in appeal No. SC. 113/2013 – Malari&Ors. v. Leigh (unreported) delivered on 12/1/2018, where a similar application was refused; I. T. Muhammad, JSC, stated as follows: his, I believe is one of the few instances where a Party must take a quick, effective and spontaneous decision in relation to the way and manner/bear the consequence of the ineptitude, negligence of counsel handling his case – – Mistake, inadvertence and sickness of counsel can always be distinguished from ineptitude, complete ignorance or malfeasance exhibited by counsel. Thus, the rule that a litigant should not be punished for the mistake or inadvertence of counsel does not extend to a situation where his counsel has exhibited tardiness and incompetence. The question in this case is whether inadvertence of counsel is within limits or has crossed the line to sheer ineptitude on the part of the applicant’s counsel in this matter.” Per AUGIE, J.S.C. in… Read More

NOTABLE PRONOUNCEMENT

The facts of the case are too sordid and the murder was a gruesome one. The appellant by putting a gun in the deceased mouth and pulling the trigger did not give him any chance to survive. It would have been a miracle if the deceased had survived. Those paid to safeguard life and property have turned themselves into vampires. The story concocted by the appellant that he shot at the deceased in self defence was a cock and bull story which was rightly rejected by the General Court Martial when it said at pages 1039 – 1040 Vol. II of the record: “The Court considered very seriously the defence of self – defence put forward by the accused. The Court however, did not agree with the story of the accused that the deceased was his assailant. We do not believe that he was being robbed by the deceased and the other imaginary person whom he claimed ran away. We do not believe that he was being dragged out of the car by any of the two persons he affirmed were unarmed in broad day light in the centre of Ikeja when there was no hold – up according to him. Per AKA’AHS, J.S.C. Read more

Appearances in

OKEZIE VICTOR IKPEAZU v. ALEX OTTI

(2016-LCER-30524-SC):

Chief Wole Olanipekun, OFR. SAN with Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN; Chief Adeniyi Akintola, SAN; D. D Dodo, OFR, SAN; Tayo Oyetibo, SAN; S. T Hon, SAN; A.T Kehinde, SAN; Emeka Etiaba, SAN; Chief Theo Nkire Esq; Nasir A Dangiri Esq; Benchuks Nwosu Esq; Elele Casmir; Audu Anugu; Anaga Kalu; Uche Ihemmanma; U.T Nwachukwu; M. E Nwaohamuo; Dr. Sam Erugo; T. Gbashima; Otabode Olanipekun; Festus Jumbo; A. A. Dodo; Patrick Okoh; Paul Mgbeoma; C.O.C Emeka-Izima; Bukola Araromi (Mrs); Aisha Aliyu (Mrs); Later. I Atagher; S.A Eigege; Oinika Ezeoke; Peter Erivwode; Bolarinwa Awujoola; Yunusa Umaru; Edidiong Usungurua; Temitope Olanipekun; M. Mene-Josiah; Alex Nwosu; Chi Aiele; Adebayo Majekolagbe; Tolu Adetomiwa; D. O Chimbuo; Adekunle Kosoko; Ukpai Ukairo; Christian Okoh; Matther Opukumo; N N Okoli; Oge Ihekanandu (Miss); Madu Gadzama; Caltstus Aneke; Lubaba Yusuf; Jummai Pam and Chukwudifu Mabamali Esq

for appellant.


Chief Akin Olujinmi CON SAN with O.O Akeredolu, SAN; A. U Kalu SAN, Fnials; Chief Chir Uche, SAN; Owonikoko Abiodun, SAN; Gordy Uche, SAN; Wole Aina Esq; Marcel Duru Esq; Michael Lora Esq; Ikoro N. Ikoro Esq; Ifeanyi Egwuasi Esq; Wilfred Eneye Esq; Akinsola Olujinmi Esq; Oloyede Oyediran; Kanayo Okafor; Emmanuel Okorie; K Odegbami-Fatogbe (Mrs; U. Nwosu-Iheme; Oluwole Ilori; Isaac Nwachukwu; A, O Balogun (Mrs); E, C Ani; C. I Obidike; B.A.P Folorunso; C. IV Kalu (Miss); D.E Idang; RichardoEbikade; Ifeoluwa Ajani (Miss); Olakunle Lawal: Blessing Akinsehinwa; L Yejide Esan; James Ebbi; Francis Nsiegbunam; Tolutope Adebayo (Miss); Chijindu Okwulehie (Miss); C. NdukaEdede (Miss); Na-Eema Goje (Miss); N. H Nwankwo; G. N Ogbonna; Ken Ahia; Ndubisi Imoke and C. Olunfunmi

For 1st and 2nd respondents


Dr. Onyechi Ikepeazu, SAN with Paul Ananaba, SAN; Ifeanyi Iboko Esq; Emma Nwaka Esq; Henry Balogun Esq; Mike Onyeka Esq; C.A.N Nwokeukwu; Chiji Nkaru; L.T.C Eruba; A.C Thomas Nkoro; Vdo Uduma; N. Nwokocha-Ahaaiwe; Paul Nwabuisi; H. John-Edwin (Mrs); P. C Vzoga; Emeka Eze; I. Evulukwu (Mrs); A. Ekekwe-Uchendu (Mrs); Anayo Nwakodu; Chikodi Okeorji; Prince E. Okpanku; Ezenwoko Ananaba; Kaodi Onuoha; Chibuchi Onwuchekwa; I. C Mark; I. C Achilefu; Dr. A.C.B Agbazuere; Alex Ejesieme; Onyinye Anumonye; Emeka Nri-Ezedi; Tobchukwu Nweke; Nnaemeka Ugha; Nwachukwu Ibegbu; S. N Mbazue; Obinna Onya; CHuka Ikpeazu; Julius Mba; C. U Chibuzor; Ngozi Nwangwa; G.A.B Madugba; Augusta Eleri (Mrs); M. E Eleri; F. C Ibebuike; Vin Okpalaeke and A. N Nwokoro

For 3rd respondent.


Asiwaju Adegboyega Awomolo SAN with Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, SAN Prof. Charles Ilegbune, SAN; Dr. Akinpelu Onigbinde, SAN; Valentine Offia Esq; Ebuka Nwaeze Esq; O. Olaleye-Kumuyi Esq and Jude Daniel Odi, Esq.

For 4th respondent.



the dependable legal armoury!