PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – DOCTRINE OF LIS PENDENS – Whether the doctrine of lis pendens applies to every suit


“It must be reiterated that contrary to what learned appellants’ counsel forcefully contends, the doctrine of lis pendens applies beyond cases in respect of title or right to real property. This Court remains persistent in its view on the doctrine of lis pendens that any person who purchases any property or acquires any right which is the subject of a determination of the Court exposes himself to a probable trouble since the outcome may be against the vendor. See OLORI MOTOR COMPANY LTD & ORS V. UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC (2006) LPELR – 2589 (SC). In AMAECHI V. INEC (2008) LPELR – 446 (SC), which is not a case in respect of real property, Aderemi JSC (of blessed memory) in his concurring contribution on the doctrine enthused as follows:- The doctrine of lis pendens finds expression in the assertion that prevents any transfer of any right or the taking of any steps capable of foisting a state of helplessness and/or hopelessness on the parties or the Court during the pendency in Court of an action and even after. By that doctrine, the law does not allow to litigant parties … to prejudice any of the litigating parties. The doctrine negates and disallows any transfer of rights or interest in any subject matter that is being litigated upon during the pendency of litigation in respect of the said subject matter. (Underlining supplied for emphasis) See also ORONTI V. ONIGBANJO (2012) LPELR – 7804 (SC) and BAMGBOYE V. OLUSOGA (1996) LPELR – 736 (SC). Yes, the doctrine does appear, majorly, to have been applied in real property disputes. That notwithstanding, the doctrine rests upon the firm foundation that no effective transfer of rights or interest in the subject matter of an action is facilitated during the pendency in Court of the action. See PROF. AJIBOYE AKINKUGBE V. EWULUM HOLDINGS NIGERIA LTD & ANOR (2008) LPELR – 346 (SC).” Per MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD, JSC in NIDB & ANOR v. KAN BISCUITS CO. LTD (2022-LCER-46534-SC) (Pp 10 – 11;

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