PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – PRELIMINARY OBJECTION – Purpose of a notice of preliminary objection; whether a preliminary objection can be used to attack one or more grounds of appeal


“…This Court has countlessly stated that a preliminary objection is filed only when the Respondent is satisfied that there is some fundamental defect in the Appellant’s process. The sole purpose being to terminate the appeal usually on grounds of incompetence. See: Odunukwe v. Ofomata (2010) LPELR 2250 SC Ndigwe v. Nwude (1999) 11 NWLR pt.626 p.314, NEPA v. Ango (2001) 15 NWLR pt.737 p.627. Nowadays, preliminary objections are filed once a Respondent notices any error in the Appellant’s processes. This is wrong. Where the Respondent complains of the competency of a ground of appeal as in this appeal, and the other grounds are in order, and can sustain the appeal, the Respondent ought to file a motion on Notice to strike out the incompetent grounds and not a preliminary objection. See: Muhammed v. Military Administrator Plateau State (2001) 16 NWLR pt.740 p.524; NDIC v. Oranu (2001) 18 NWLR pt.744 p.183.” Per ABDU ABOKI, JSC in SANI v. KOGSHA & ORS (2021-LCER-40499-SC) (Pp 16 – 17; Paras E – B)

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