PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – SIGNING OF COURT PROCESS(ES) – Effect of a court process signed in the name of a law firm


“It has not been contested that Albert Yawe & Co signed the Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim dated and filed on 24/10/2001, which is the stratum and foundation of the Appellants’ case at the trial Court to the present appeal. Albert Yawe & Co, not been a person whose name is on the roll of Legal Practitioners in the Supreme Court of Nigeria, cannot qualify to sign an originating process like the Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim dated and filed on 24/0/2001. Hence, the appeal owing its origin from the unsigned Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim is incompetent and liable to be struck out. In this wise, per BAGE, JSC, in ARUEZE & ORS V. NWAUKONI (2018) LPELR-46352(SC) (PP. 8-12 PARAS. C), on the effect of a Court process signed by an unidentifiable person, held inter alia that, “The Amended Statement of Claim No. 3, which is an initiating process is already found to be defective. This action, which is founded on it, cannot be said to have been initiated by due process of law. The defect is extrinsic to the adjudication of this case. This Court cannot proceed to hear this case, as the condition precedent to the exercise of Jurisdiction is absent. The cross-appellants Preliminary Objection filed on the 20/12/2006 at pages 360 – 366 of the record of appeal is hereby upheld. The Entire appeal collapses, and it is hereby struck out by this Court.” I therefore unhesitantly uphold the Respondents’ preliminary objection and strike out this appeal for incompetence.” Per UWANI MUSA ABBA AJI, JSC in YONGO & ORS v. HAANONGON & ORS (2022-LCER-46535-SC) (Pp 18 – 19; Paras B – C)

Add to LawKit (0)