EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION V HRH OBONG (DR) EFFIONG B ARCHIANGA & ORS (2018)

EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION V HRH OBONG (DR) EFFIONG B ARCHIANGA & ORS

(2018) LCN/4593(SC)

In the Supreme Court of Nigeria

Thursday, July 5, 2018


Case Number: SC.631 /2014

 

JUSTICES:

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD

KUDIRAT MOTONMORI OLATOKUNBO KEKERE-EKUN

CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE

EJEMBI EKO

PAUL ADAMU GALINJE

 

APPELLANTS

EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION 5959LAS CONILAS BOULEVARD IRVING TEXASUNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA)

RESPONDENTS

1. HRH OBONG (DR) EFFIONG B ARCHIANGA (JP)2. OBONG DANIEL A. UDOMFIOK 3. OBONG DANIEL PETER EKPO4. OBONG BASSEY I. AKPANIKA (JP)5. CHIEF OWON SUNDAY AKAPANOWONG6. WILLIAMS HENRY MKPAH7. OBONGAWAN BESSIE O NYAKPA8. CHIEF EDMOND N. OKON9. CHIEF ISUAMDONO I. OKON10. CHIEF OKUTINYANG H. INYANG(for themselves and on behalf of the people andmembers of Ibeno clan in Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State)11. NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION12. MOBIL PRODUCTION NIGERIA UNLIMITED

 

COUNSELS

MR. PAUL USORO, SAN, with Ime Edem-Nse and Ejike Wogu, for the Appellant.||MR. L.E. NWOSU, SAN with Anthony Ayaogu and Z. A. Nwosu for the 1st sets of Respondents from 1-10.|CHIEF I.A. ADEDIPE, SAN with Chinasa Unagbubam and Munachiso Michael for the 11th Respondent.|MR. DANIEL OHABUIKE, with Y.B. Daniel Kalio for 12th Respondent.|

WHAT ARE PLEADINGS?
“Pleading simply means the plaintiffs statement of complaint and the defendant’s answer to such a statement. Pleading usually takes place in civil cases. Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th Edition, by Bryan A. Garner defines pleading as a formal document in which a party to a legal proceeding especially in civil suit sets forth or responds to allegations, claims, denial or defences.”
CONTENT OF PLEADINGS
“This court has held in a number of cases that parties to a civil suit only plead facts and not evidence or law resulting from the facts; and that parties must give evidence in support of their pleadings. See U.A.C vs Owoade 13 WACA 207: Peenok Investments Ltd vs Hotel Presidential Ltd (1982) 12 SCI: Thanni vs Saibu (1977) 2 SC 89.”
WHEN THE COURT CAN SET ASIDE ITS OWN DECISION
“Indeed as a general rule, every court of record has inherent jurisdiction on application and in appropriate cases and circumstances to set aside its judgment or decision. This jurisdiction may be exercised where for instance, the judgment or decision sought to be set aside is null and void ab- initio or there was a fundamental defect in the proceedings which vitiates and renders the same incompetent and invalid. See Alhaii Taofeek Alao vs ACB Ltd (2000) 2 SCNLR 1067: Salami Omokew u & Ors vs Abraham Qlabanii & Anor (1996) 3 NWLR (Pt 435) 126; Sken consult (Nig) Ltd vs Ukey (1981) 1 SC6. In such a case the court may ex-debito justitiae set aside its decision and may make necessary consequential orders that the justice of each individual case demands. See Jatau vs Ahmed (2003) 4 NWLR (Pt 811) 498.”
ATTITUDE OF COURT TO ACADEMIC ISSUES
“As it is well-known, academic issues which are, almost always, hypothetical, do not engage the attention of courts since they are not the proper for a for their ventilation, Imegwuv Okolocha [2013] 9 NWLR (pt 1359) 347; and, above all, they are of no utilitarian value, Abe v UNILORIN [2013] 16 NWLR (pt 1379) 183”.

(DELIVERED BY AMIRU

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