JUDGMENT AND ORDER – AWARD OF INTEREST – Whether the award of post-judgment interest is discretionary; principles guiding the exercise of such discretion


“It is not a matter for endless discourse as it is well settled that after winning a judgment, payment may be delayed by the judgment debtor. For this reason, the Courts are empowered to make such discretionary orders as to preserve the benefit of the judgment until such time as it is complied with. No doubt, one of such processes is the Post-judgment award of interest which serves to compensate the successful party for the loss of use of money from the period of the Court’s judgment until the time the judgment is actually paid, including the period during which appeals are pending. Post-judgment interest compensates the successful party for the delay in receiving the judgment owed. This is clearly in exercise of its discretionary powers to order interest in respect of a judgment in favour of a party. The law is that post judgment interest need not be specifically claimed. The award is at the discretion of the Court and it is regulated by the rules and operating statute. see A.I.B. Ltd v. I.D.S. Ltd (2012) 17 NWLR (p.1328)1 @ 50G & 55D-E; Himma Merchants Ltd v. Aliyu (1994) 5 NWLR (pt.347) 667; I.T.B. Plc v. K.H.C. Ltd (2006) 3 NWLR (pt.968)443. A trial Court and the Court of Appeal have jurisdiction to award post judgment interest whether or not such was claimed. I place reliance on U.LG.C. v. Inwang (2010) 4 NWLR (pt.1185) p.529; Echaka Cattle Ranch v. N.A.C.B. (1998) 3 SCNJ 64. What is at stake here is the exercise of discretion of the Court and the law is trite that after weighing all the circumstances of the case in the interest of justice and the parties involved, including the balance of convenience and disadvantages which might be suffered by any of the parties concerned.” Per MARY UKAEGO PETER-ODILI, JSC in BRONWEN ENERGY TRADING LTD. v. OAN OVERSEAS AGENCY (NIG) LTD & ORS (2022-LCER-46529-SC) (Pp 36 – 38; Paras E – A)

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