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13 NWLR (Pt.838)609
MUHAMMADU LAWAL UWAIS, CJN (Presided)
MICHAEL EKUNDAYO OGUNDARE, JSC (Delivered the leading judgment)
SYLVESTER UMARU ONU, JSC
ALOYSIUS IYORGYER KATSINA-ALU, JSC
NIKI TOBI, JSC
[Sam Eleanya, Agboola Omolola Oluwafolakemi, Eleanya Kalu Vincent, Eleanya Ugochi Vine]
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Abuse of process of court – meaning of – party who has appealed against a judgment and applied to stay its execution – whether it is an abuse of process for the party to subsequently apply to a higher court to set aside the said judgment.
LEGAL PRACTITIONER – Counsel – duty of counsel to cite legal authorities in support of his client’s case.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Abuse of process of court – proper order for the court to make where its process is abused.
MICHAEL EKUNDAYO OGUNDARE, JSC (Delivering the leading judgment):
This ruling arises from an application made by the defendant/appellant dated 27th November 2002 and filed on 29th November 2002. In the application the defendant/appellant is praying this court for-
“an order setting aside the judgment of Rhodes Vivour J. of the Lagos High Court delivered on the 28th of March, 2002”
upon the ground that-
“Notwithstanding the fact that the learned trial Judge in suit No. LD/2342/2000 was made aware of the fact that there was pending before the Supreme Court an application in which prayer sought by the applicant was for stay of proceedings of the said suit pending an appeal to the Supreme Court, the learned trial Judge proceeded nevertheless to hear and determine the said suit and thereafter entered judgment against the appellant on the 28th of March, 2002.”
In the affidavit in support of the application one Olasumbo Adejumo a legal practitioner deposed, inter alia, as follows:
“4. That on 8th March, 2002 I appeared with Rasaq Ayinde Sanni Esq., my principal on behalf of the applicant herein in suit No. LD/2342/2000 at the High Court of Lagos State.
A short history of this case leading of the application runs as follows: In suit No. LD/2342/2000 the plaintiff who is now respondent issued a writ of summons against the defendant on the 29th of August 2000 claiming as per paragraph 18 of her statement of claim-
“Whereof the plaintiff claims the sum of US dollars 2,755,618.85 made up as follows:
(i) Variations 1,747,493.36
(ii) For loss and expenses arising from
Extension of time
On head office 539,530.02
On preliminaries 228,000.00
On omitted items I (Pergolla and PABX) 15,864.20
On additional cost of labour 1,018,076.61
Interest on delayed payments 14,937.06
Additional cost of variations 110,381.19
Additional works (Plaque) 912.19
Additional expenses due to rainy days 11,012.40
Additional cost apart from labour in accelerating the completion date 89,092.50
Tentative contract sum 6,243,989.66
Grand total 10,019,289.19
Less payment made to date by the defendant to the plaintiff 7,263,670.34
Amount due and payable 2,755,618.85
Dated 28th day of August, 2000.
And interest on the said sum at the rate of 21% per annum from 22nd June, 2000 until judgment and thereafter at the same rate until total liquidation.”
The defendant who is applicant before us filed a notice of preliminary objection. The notice reads:
“Take notice that the applicant intends to object to the trial of this suit filed against it by the respondent as the honourable court lacks jurisdiction to try same.
Ground of objection
The applicant by virtue of the diplomatic immunities and privileges (African Reinsurance Corporation) Order 1985 has diplomatic immunity.”
Arguments on the preliminary objection were taken before B. O. Shitta-Bey J. of the High Court of Lagos State. In a ruling, which the learned Judge delivered on the 26th of October 2000, she overruled the preliminary objection raised by the defendant and dismissed it. She then made an order that the defendant should file a statement of defence within seven days of the day of her ruling. The defendant was dissatisfied with this ruling and appealed to the Court of Appeal. Meanwhile the defendant brought an application before the Court of Appeal for a stay of the proceedings before Shitta-Bey J. This was after Shitta-Bey J. had in a ruling delivered on the 20th day of November 2002 refused to grant stay. The Court of Appeal also refused to grant a stay and in the lead ruling of Galadima JCA with which Oguntade and Aderemi JJCA agreed, the court said-
“I have carefully considered this application. No reasonable case has been made for the grant of this application. The learned trial Judge directed the appellant/applicant to file its statement of defence and proceeded to fix hearing of substantive suit. I do not agree with the applicant that the compliance with that order would have the legal effect of a waiver of its immunity from suit.
The grounds of appeal in my view are not substantial to warrant my consideration of this application. Accordingly this application fails and it is refused. I do not make an order staying the proceedings of the lower court in suit No. LD/2342/2000 before Shitta-Bey J. of the Lagos State High Court. The substantive case in that court should commence in earnest and expeditiously too.”
The defendant has appealed to this court against this order of refusal of stay upon two grounds of appeal to wit:
“(i) The Court of Appeal erred in law in refusing the application for stay of proceedings pending appeal on the ground articulated in the lead judgment of Galadima JCA that the grounds of appeal filed are not substantial to warrant the consideration of the application when:
(a) The grounds of appeal challenge the determination of the trial Judge that in considering the issue of jurisdiction the court can only look at the writ and statement of claim and at nothing else.
(b) They also challenged the declaration of the learned trial Judge that she would, and did refuse to look at or consider a statutory provision upon which the application was based.
(c) The grounds of appeal had complained of a denial of hearing resulting from a refusal to consider the legal basis of the objection.
(d) The grounds complained that the Judge was obliged to take judicial notice of the statutory instrument cited and read before her.
(e) The grounds had contended that the fact that the defendant had previously agreed in writing to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts did not in law, amount to a submission to jurisdiction, and that submission is only binding when it is made directly to the court when the court is about to exercise jurisdiction.
(f) Galadima JCA had at page 6 of his original judgment said:
‘In the case at hand, the applicant has raised genuine, special or exceptional circumstance for a stay of proceedings’ and
‘I have carefully considered the grounds of appeal set out above. The grounds raised substantial questions of law to be decided on appeal. The applicant has established that he has competent and arguable grounds of appeal on its merit. In the result, the application succeeds………..’
(g) But the same learned justice of appeal also wrote another page 6 to his judgment where he said:
‘No reasonable case has been made for the grant of this application and
‘The grounds of appeal are in my view not substantial to warrant my consideration of this application. Accordingly the application fails and it is refused.’
(ii) The Court of Appeal erred in law in supposing that the filing of a statement of defence and raising the issue of jurisdiction therein does not amount to submission to jurisdiction when:
(a) Once a defendant files a statement of defence to an action he thereby ‘takes a step in the action’ and thereby submits to the jurisdiction of the court.
(b) If the defendant/appellant should file a defence now, then the whole purpose of the preliminary objection to jurisdiction would have been defeated.”
On 18th March 2002 the defendant/appellant in this court filed a motion on notice dated the same date praying this court for the following orders:
“1. Leave extending the time within which the appellant/applicant may apply for an order staying proceedings in suit No. LD/2342/2000 before B. Rhodes Vivour J. at the High Court of Lagos State pending the hearing and determination of the appellant/applicant’s appeal.
In the affidavit in support of the application sworn to by one Kolawole Lawal a legal practitioner the deponent averred, inter alia, as follows:
“5. That the appellant at the High Court by a notice of preliminary objection objected to the respondent’s action on the ground of the appellant’s diplomatic immunity. Attached herewith and marked exhibit A1 is the supplement to official gazette No. 5 vol. 72 31st January, 1985 evidencing diplomatic immunity of the appellant.
(a) that the Court of Appeal has heard the argument on the brief filed on the substantive appeal and has been adjourned to 9th May, 2002 for judgment and
(b) that the Supreme Court is also seised of the appeal filed by the applicant to that court challenging the refusal of the Court of Appeal to order a stay of proceedings.
(c) and in both cases the hearing of the case would foist on the appellate courts a fait accompli if any of the appeals in the appellate courts turns out to be in favour of the applicant.
While this application is still pending in this court, on the 25th of March 2002, the defendant brought yet another application in this court praying for:
“An interim order that proceedings in suit No. LD/2324/2000 pending before B. Rhodes-Vivour J. of High Court of Lagos State be stayed or that judgment be not delivered until the hearing of the motion on notice for stay of proceedings dated 18th of March, 2002 pending before the Supreme Court.
And for such further order or orders as the honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.
Ground for the application
The learned trial Judge B. Rhodes-Vivour J. has continued with trial in suit No. LD/2324/2000 and has in fact fixed a date for judgment 28th March, 2002 in spite of the substantive appeal and notice of motion for stay of proceedings dated 18th day of March, 2002 pending before the Supreme Court.”
That application too was supported by an affidavit the substance of which was that Rhodes-Vivour J. was informed that an application for stay was pending in this court and that notwithstanding that information the learned Judge proceeded to the hearing of the suit before him. Both applications were fixed for the 2nd of December for hearing in this court. Before that date, however, the defendant filed yet another motion on notice which is the subject matter of this ruling. The appeal that is pending before this court is against the decision of the Court of Appeal refusing to stay the proceedings in the High Court of Lagos State pending the determination of the appeal before it. That appeal is yet to be heard. The appellant however, filed applications before this court seeking to stay the same proceedings, an order which she failed to obtain In the Court of Appeal and in respect of which she has filed the appeal to this court. As both the appeal to this court and the application brought in this court for stay of the proceedings in the High Court are yet to be heard, I will refrain from commenting any further on them.
When both applications for stay were to be heard in this court on 2nd December 2002, Chief G. O. K. Ajayi SAN insisted that the latest application the subject matter of this ruling be considered first. He moved the court for an order setting aside the judgment of Rhodes-Vivour J. given on 28th of March, 2002 on the ground that the judgment was given notwithstanding the fact that the learned Judge was made aware before delivering his judgment that application was pending before the Supreme Court for stay of proceedings. He relied on the affidavit in support, the penultimate paragraph of which I have set out earlier in this ruling. He submitted that the learned trial Judge’s conduct amounted to judicial impertinence and urged the court to set aside the judgment given by Rhodes-Vivour J. on 28th March 2002 in this matter. He invoked the inherent jurisdiction of this court to make such an order.
When questioned by the court to show the authorities in support of his application, he was unable to refer the court to any authority, his attitude was that the court must know the authorities and that all lawyers knew the authorities governing such an application.
Mr. Joseph SAN for the plaintiff/respondent informed the court – and this is not denied by Chief Ajayi – that the defendant had appealed against the judgment of Rhodes-Vivour J. on 2nd April 2002 and added that ground (1) of appeal in that appeal raised the very issue that is to be considered in this application. Learned Senior Advocate opined that the application now before the court to set aside the judgment which is filed on 29th November 2002 was brought too late and that the defendant/appellant had taken a fresh step in the matter, that is, lodging an appeal. Learned counsel referred to Ojukwu’s case (2001) 39 WRN 155; (1986) 1 NWLR (Pt. 18) 621 and submitted that that case dealt with self help by a party. That is not the case here. The learned Senior Advocate further remarked that the applicant had not shown the constitutional provision that allowed this court to entertain an appeal direct from the High Court to this court. He referred to the order of the Court of Appeal which enjoined the court below to hear the suit with dispatch and observed that that order still subsists as it has not been set aside by this court. He also informed the court that the Court of Appeal on 27/5/02 dismissed the defendant’s appeal to it on the issue of jurisdiction. Learned counsel submitted that the present application is an abuse of the process of court.
Chief Ajayi SAN in reply submitted that the action taken by the trial High Court was to pre-empt this court and ought to be set aside ex debito justitiae. He submitted that the present application was an appeal to the inherent jurisdiction of the court to nullify and undo that which any person had done to thwart the jurisdiction of this court going by the Constitution. Learned Senior Advocate confirmed that the defendant had filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal against the further judgment of Rhodes-Vivour J. and had applied to Rhodes-Vivour J. for stay of execution. Chef Ajayi submitted that this present application is not an abuse of process of court.
From the facts made available to us by the affidavit in support of the defendant’s application and the facts made known by Mr. Joseph from the Bar, which facts are not controverted by learned Senior Advocate for the defendant, the following facts emerged:
(1) the plaintiff sued the defendant claiming various reliefs in the High Court of Lagos State;
(2) the plaintiff filed a statement of claim;
(3) the defendant did not file a statement of defence; rather the defendant filed a notice of preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the court on the ground of diplomatic immunity;
(4) the issue raised in the notice of preliminary objection was taken first by the High Court and after addresses by learned counsel for the parties, dismissed the preliminary objection and ordered that the defendant should file a statement of defence within seven days;
(5) the defendant appealed against this decision to the Court of Appeal and applied for a stay of proceedings in the High Court;
(6) the High Court refused the application for stay, whereupon the defendant made a similar application to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal also refused the application for stay of proceedings pending appeal. The defendant appealed against the decision to this court;
(7) following the filing of the appeal to this court the defendant filed two applications in this court for stay of proceedings pending appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal refusing stay of proceedings;
(8) while the motions to this court are yet to be heard proceedings in the suit commenced before Rhodes-Vivour J. in the High Court of Lagos State notwithstanding that the learned Judge was informed of the applications pending in this court;
(9) the proceedings before Rhodes-Vivour J. concluded on 28/3/02 when judgment in the suit was entered in favour of the plaintiff in terms of her claims;
(10) the defendant appealed against that judgment on 2/4/02 and one of the grounds of appeal raises the very issue that is to be determined in the application now on hand;
(11) that the defendant has again applied for stay of execution of the judgment of Rhodes-Vivour J.;
(12) that the Court of Appeal on 27/5/02 dismissed the defendant’s appeal to it on the issue of jurisdiction.
It is after all these events that the defendant on 29th November, 2002 filed in this court another application which is the application now under consideration seeking to set aside the judgment of Rhodes-Vivour J. on the ground that the proceedings before the learned Judge were made with a view to thwarting or render nugatory whatever decision this court might give in the pending application before it for stay of proceedings. In the circumstances surrounding this application I think Mr. Joseph is right to say that this present application is indeed an abuse of the process of court. Not only has the defendant appealed against the judgment now sought to be set aside, it has even applied for stay of execution of that judgment. The appeal to the Court of Appeal on the issue of jurisdiction had been determined against the defendant and it was pending the determination of that appeal that various applications had been made by the defendant for stay of proceedings. Indeed the defendant’s appeal, pending in this court, is to reverse the refusal of the Court of Appeal to stay proceedings in the case pending the judgment of the Court of Appeal in the appeal on jurisdiction which appeal has now been determined against the defendant. I do not know what the defendant stands to gain by the present application having regard to all the circumstances.
Before concluding this ruling, I need to comment, rather briefly, on the conduct of learned leading counsel for the defendant. Learned counsel was unable to place before this court any authority in support of his application. His attitude was “everyone knows the law on the point.” Such an attitude cannot be helpful to any court. It would be expected that counsel, when coming to move such an application would be fully prepared to assist the court in arriving at a just decision. Regrettably to say we did not have that assistance from learned leading counsel to the defendant in this case.
Having regard to all the steps that have been taken by the defendant in this matter, particularly since judgment was delivered by Rhodes-Vivour J., it is clearly an abuse of process of court for her now to ask us to set aside that judgment that is already on appeal to the Court of Appeal, all in the exercise of the coercive power of this court – see: Okafor v. Attorney-General of Anambra State (1991) 6 NWLR (Pt. 200) 659, 680 H- 681D, per Karibi-Whyte, JSC; Saraki v. Kotoye (1992) 9 NWLR (Pt. 264) 156 at 188 E – G, per Karibi-Whyte, JSC. I think it would be a wrong exercise of such jurisdiction to accede to such a request. This application, therefore, fails and it is dismissed by me with N1,000.00 costs in favour of the plaintiff/respondent.
MUHAMMADU LAWAL UWAIS, CJN:I have had the advantage of reading in draft the ruling read by my learned brother Ogundare, JSC. I entirely agree that this application lacks merit and is an abuse of the process of court. Learned Senior Advocate, for the applicant, did not cite, with reference, any authority in support of the application. He mentioned the cases of Ojukwu v. Military Governor of Lagos State and Saraki v. Kotoye and claimed that everyone knows the law on the point on which the application is based. This is clearly far from the right attitude which any counsel, let alone a senior counsel, should adopt in presenting a case before this court. Counsel is obliged to argue his client’s case convincingly and assist the court with authorities so that it may arrive at the right decision. Furthermore, counsel should not surprise his opponent by not citing authorities in support of his case but relying on the court to do his duty of researching for authorities in support of his client’s case. This is never done and should not be encouraged. It shows laziness and arrogance on the part of counsel.
Order 6 rule 7(1) of the Supreme Court Rules, 1985 provides-
“(1) As early as possible before the date set down for the hearing of the appeal, and in any event, not later than one week before such date, the party who has filed a brief or the legal practitioner representing him shall forward to the Registrar in charge of litigation a list of the law reports, textbooks and other authorities which counsel intend to cite at the hearing of the appeal.” (Italics supplied)
Although these provisions apply to appeals only, they are equally desirable and applicable in making applications before the Supreme Court. The provisions show that a counsel, who intends to cite a case etc. should mention the law reports, the textbooks and other authorities he would like to rely upon. He cannot, therefore, adopt the attitude that the case he would cite is generally known. This is against the requirement and spirit of the rules of practice is this court, and I repeat, is not helpful to the court.
For the reasons contained in the ruling by my learned brother Ogundare, JSC, the application is refused and it is hereby dismissed with N1,000.00 costs against the applicant in favour of the respondent.
SYLVESTER UMARU ONU, JSC:I agree entirely.
ALOYSIUS IYORGYER KATSINA-ALU, JSC:I have had the advantage of reading in draft the judgment of my learned brother Ogundare JSC with which I am in entire agreement. For the reasons given by him I, too, would dismiss the motion with costs as awarded by my learned brother Ogundare JSC.
NIKI TOBI, JSC: By motion dated 27th November, 2002 and filed on 29th November, 2002, the applicant prays this court for an order setting aside the judgment of Rhodes-Vivour, J., of the Lagos State High Court delivered on the 8th March, 2002. The ground of the motion is that notwithstanding the fact that the learned trial Judge in suit No.LD/2342/2000 was made aware of the fact that there was pending before the Supreme Court an application in which prayer sought by the applicant was for stay of proceedings of the said suit pending on appeal to the Supreme Court, the learned trial Judge proceeded, nevertheless, to hear and determine the said suit and thereafter entered judgment against the appellant. Moving the motion, Chief G. O. K. Ajayi, Senior Advocate, for the appellant relied on the affidavit in support and urged the court to grant the motion.
Mr. Joseph, in opposing the motion pointed out that there is a notice of appeal filed on 2/4/2002 against the judgment of Rhodes-Vivour, J. in which the first ground of the notice of appeal is raising the same issue here which is the subject of this application. Learned Senior Advocate said that it is a demonstration of an election to attack the judgment by way of an appeal. He referred to order 2, rule 29(1) of the rules of this court and submitted that a waiting period of eight months offends the rule for bringing the application. Referring to the case of the Military Governor of Lagos State v. Chief Ojukwu (2001) 39 WRN 155; (1986) 1 NWLR (Pt. 18) 621, learned Senior Advocate contended that while the case talked about self help, the affidavit in support of the motion does not depose to self help.
Learned Senior Advocate argued that this court does not have the constitutional right to entertain an appeal straight from the High Court to this court. He pointed out that the order of the Court of Appeal was to start trial expeditiously after the refusal of the application for stay of proceedings. The Court of Appeal, learned Senior Advocate claimed, upheld the decision of the High Court on the issue of jurisdiction on 27/5/2002.
It was the submission of learned Senior Advocate that the events which took place in the two lower courts will estop the applicant from coming to this court to set aside the judgment of the High Court. Counsel pointed out that there are two motions before this court: one to set aside the judgment of the trial Judge and the other, to stay the proceedings of that court. To counsel, this motion constitutes nothing less than an abuse of the process of this court, particularly when it is the practice of this court that it wants the benefit of hearing the opinion of the lower courts on any issue raised.
While this ruling was pending, Mr. Joseph sent, by his letter dated December 6th 2002, a number of authorities. Since there is no indication that the letter was forwarded to Chief Ajayi for his reaction, I shall ignore the authorities. It is trite law that where counsel comes across relevant authorities after a matter has been adjourned for judgment or ruling, he must make the letter indicating the authorities, available to opposing counsel for a possible input. That is the essence of our adversary system of adjudication.
Chief Ajayi submitted in reply that what the motion complains of is the conduct of the trial Judge, which cannot be treated as a mere irregularity. Accordingly, order 2 rule 29(1) does not apply, learned Senior Advocate, argued. He urged the court to set aside the judgment of the trial Judge ex debito justitiae.
Learned Senior Advocate did not agree that there is an appeal direct from the High Court to this court. He contended that the application is to enable this court to exercise its inherent jurisdiction to nullify and undo that which any person, whether he be a Judge, to stop him from flouting the orders of this court. He once again urged the court to grant the motion.
The application for stay of proceedings has moved through the three courts: High Court, Court of Appeal and this court. The High Court refused the application for stay of proceedings. The Court of Appeal also refused the application. The appeal is before this court.
On 18th March, 2002 the defendant/appellant filed a motion for leave extending time within which the appellant/applicant may apply for an order staying the proceedings in suit No. LD/2342/2000, an order granting a stay of proceedings in the said suit and leave extending the time within which the appellant may file a record for the hearing of the appeal.
On 25th March, 2002 the defendant brought another application for an interim order that proceedings in suit No. LD/2324/2000 pending before Rhodes-Vivour, J. be stayed or that judgment be not delivered until the hearing of the motion on notice for stay of proceedings dated 18th March, 2000 pending before this court. And so within a period of seven days, two motions of identical reliefs were brought to this court.
Learned Senior Advocate for the respondent, Mr. Joseph, cited order 2 rule 29(1) of the Supreme Court Rules. The sub-rule provides as follows:
“An application to strike out or set aside for non-compliance with these rules, or for any other irregularity arising from the rules of practice and procedure in this court, any proceedings or any step taken in any proceedings or any document, judgment or order therein shall only be entertained by the court if it is made within a reasonable time and before the party applying has taken any fresh step after becoming aware of the irregularity.”
Learned Senior Advocate relied on the above rule on the ground that the motion before this court was brought eight months after the judgment of Rhodes-Vivour, J. I agree with Chief Ajayi (SAN), that the rule does not apply. The rule deals with irregularity but the motion before us is much more than mere irregularity. And what is more, the motion was not brought under order 2 rule 29(1), and could not have been brought under order 2 rule 29(1).
It is clear that there are quite a few motions on stay of proceedings of the same suit No. LD/2342/2000 heard by the same Judge, Rhodes-Vivour, J. By the motions, this court is pushed from pillar to post and the court has no breathing space to take one before the other. That should not be and that cannot be the situation. This is one case in which about one or two court processes are too many. This motion could be avoided for good as it appears to me to be a duplication of existing court processes. Where a party duplicates a court process, the more current one which results in the duplication is regarded as an abuse of the court process.
Abuse of process of court is a term generally applied to a proceeding which is wanting in bona fide and is frivolous, vexatious or oppressive. Abuse of process can also mean abuse of legal procedure or improper use of legal process as in this case. See Amaefule v. The State (1988) 2 NWLR (Pt. 75) 156. An abuse of process always involves some bias, malice, some deliberateness, some desire to misuse or pervert the system. See Edet v. The State (1988) 4 NWLR (Pt. 91) 722. There is said to be an abuse of the process of the court when a party improperly uses the issue of the judicial process to the irritation and annoyance of his opponent, such as instituting a multiplicity of actions on the same subject matter against the same opponent on the same issues, as in the instant case. See Okafor v. Attorney-General Anambra State (1991) 6 NWLR (Pt. 200) 659. See also Messrs NV Scheep v. The MV “S Araz” (2000) 15 NWLR (Pt. 691) 622.
There is still another important aspect to this matter. The applicant has filed an appeal against the judgment of Rhodes-Vivour, J. That is not all. The applicant has also filed a motion for stay of execution of the judgment. And the same applicant has come before this court to request it to set aside the same judgment. I think the applicant, with the greatest respect, is trying to jump the gun. How can this court set aside a judgment which is on appeal to the Court of Appeal? That will be tantamount to taking the “shine” or the “show” off or away from the Court of Appeal and this court cannot do that.
The Constitution clearly provides in section 233(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that this court has jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from the Court of Appeal. This court should wait for any appeal that may arise from the decision of the Court of Appeal.
Where the court comes to the conclusion that its process is abused, the proper order is that of dismissal of the process. See Chief Arubo v. Aiyeleru (1993) 3 NWLR (Pt. 280) 126; Kode v. Alhaji Yusuf (2001) 14 WRN 153; (2001) 4 NWLR (Pt. 703) 392.
In conclusion, I agree with my learned brother, Ogundare, JSC that this motion should be dismissed. I dismiss the motion, being an abuse of the court process. I award N1,000.00 costs in favour of the plaintiff/respondent.
Cases referred to in the judgment
Amaefule v. State (1988) 2 NWLR (Pt. 75) 156.
Arubo v. Aiyeleru (1993) 3 NWLR (Pt. 280) 126.
Edet v. State (1988) 4 NWLR (Pt. 91) 722.
Kode v. Yusuf (2001) 14 WRN 153; (2001) 4 NWLR (Pt. 703) 392.
Scheep v. MV “S Araz” (2001) 4 WRN 105; (2000) 15 NWLR (Pt. 691) 622.
Mil. Gov., Lagos State v. Ojukwu (2001) 39 WRN 155; (1986) 1 NWLR (Pt. 18) 621.
Okafor v. A-G., Anambra State (1991) 6 NWLR (Pt. 200) 659.
Saraki v. Kotoye (1992) 9 NWLR (Pt. 264) 156.
Statute referred to in the judgment
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 s. 233(1).
Rules of court referred to in the judgment
Supreme Court Rules 1985 Or. 2 r. 29(1), AND Or. 6 r. 7(1).