JUSTICE – Miscarriage of Justice – Presumption of miscarriage of justice where there is a denial of fair hearing – Duty of the Supreme Court to nullify proceedings:

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“Where there is denial of fair hearing, miscarriage of justice is presumed to have been occasioned to the party denied fair hearing. Again where it is shown as in the instant appeal that the lower Court manifestly misunderstood the processes of the Appellant and went ahead to erroneously rely on wrong processes to determine the Appellants appeal, his is a clear case of denial of fair hearing, this Court must as à matter of duty declare such decision a complete nullity. This Court in OVUNWO & ANOR V. WOKO & ORS, (2011) LPELR-2841 (SC) per CHUKWUMAH ENEH, JSC (of blessed memory) held as follows: “As a corollary, a proper interpretation or construction of the provisions of Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) will show that the right of fair hearing extends beyond merely affording the parties a hearing but also includes a proper consideration and determination of the issues canvassed by the parties before the Court. But can a Court consider the issues without hearing from the parties? Where a Court of law, without hearing the parties, proceeds to consider the issues in the matter and delivers a judgment it is clear that the parties were denied fair hearing. There is no doubt that fair hearing is in most cases synonymous with natural justice, an issue which clearly is at the threshold of our legal system. Once there is a denial of fair hearing as guaranteed under Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the whole proceedings automatically become vitiated with a basic and fundamental irregularity which renders them null and void. See OJENGBEDE v. ESAN (2001) 18 NWLR (Pt. 746) 771; OTAPO V. SUMMONU (1987) 2 NWLR (Pt. 58) 587; WILSON V. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF BENDEL STATE (1g85) 1 NWILR (Pt. 4) 572.” Per TIJJANI ABUBAKAR, JSC in WEMA BANK PLC V. ABRAHAM OLOTU (2022-LCER-46556-SC) at Pp. 28 – 30; Paras. E – B.

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JUSTICE – Miscarriage of Justice – Presumption of miscarriage of justice where there is a denial of fair hearing – Duty of the Supreme Court to nullify proceedings

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