PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – PRELIMINARY OBJECTION – Aim/purpose/essence of a preliminary objection; effect of same


“The essence of a preliminary objection is to challenge the competence of the entire appeal. A preliminary objection is filed where it is intended to truncate the appeal in limine on the ground that there is a fundamental defect that would affect the Court’s jurisdiction to entertain it. It forecloses the hearing of the matter to save the Court’s valuable time and to avoid an exercise in futility. The rationale for this procedure was explained by Nnaemeka-Agu, JSC in Mohammed & Anor. Vs Olawunmi & Ors. (1990) 4 SCN J 23, thus: “By the preliminary objection, he is saying that the suit or motion before the Court ought not to be heard at all because it is incompetent or is bedeviled by some other fundamental vice.” See also: Nwosu vs P.D.P & Ors. (2018) LPELR-44386 (SC) @ 11 D-G: Yaro vs Arewa Construction Ltd. & Ors. (2007) LPELR-3516 (SC) @ 14 E-F: APC vs INEC (2014) LPELR-24036 (SC) @ 18-19 A-B.” Per KEKERE-EKUN, JSC in APC & ORS v. ESIEC & ORS (2021-LCER-40460-SC) (Pp 15 – 15 Paras A – F).

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