- HON. CHIBUIKE AMAECHI V. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION
In The Supreme Court of Nigeria
On Tuesday, the 10th day of July, 2007
GEORGE ADESOLA OGUNTADE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
MAHMUD MOHAMMED Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
IKECHI FRANCIS OGBUAGU Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
FRANCIS FEDODE TABAI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
PIUS OLAYIWOLA ADEREMI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL CHUKWUMA-ENEH Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
ALOYSIUS IYORGYER KATSINA-ALU
- HON. CHIBUIKE AMAECHI Appellant(s)
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION Respondent(s)
- I. KATSINA-ALU, J.S.C (Delivering the Leading Ruling): Since both the appeal against the order of the court below given on 8th June, 2007, and the application by the 2nd respondent filed on 1st June, 2007, have been withdrawn both are struck out. This court being the final court in the land, it is important that I express my displeasure about the turn the case appears to have taken. On 11th May, 2007, this court in an appeal against the order of the court below, declining further jurisdiction in the substantive appeal before it, held that the court below was wrong to have declined jurisdiction. We adopted that course having regard to the well established principle of law, that it is the plaintiff’s case that gives jurisdiction to the court and not the acts of the parties in the course of litigation. We asked the court to hear the appeal and the cross appeal expeditiously. Rather than do so, the court below took it upon itself to ask for further clarification of a very simple and straight forward order. It is a most unfortunate development given the hierarchical system of courts in Nigeria. Reticence is golden in circumstances as this. For the avoidance of doubt, I like to say that since the order of stay of proceedings granted by the lower court was made contingent upon the disposal of the appeal and the application by 2nd respondent now withdrawn, it is directed that this appeal and the cross-appeal before the court below be expeditiously heard as previously ordered. Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done. I make no order as to costs.
G. A. OGUNTADE, J.S.C: Court: The appeal against the order of stay of proceedings granted by the court below and the application were filed on 1-6-2007. I would also entirely agree with the leading ruling by my learned brother, Katsina-Alu, JSC. (Presiding).
M. MOHAMMED, J.S.C: I agree with the ruling just delivered by Katsina-Alu, Justice, Supreme Court.
I. F. OGBUAGU, J.S.C: Court: In the circumstances, this appeal having been withdrawn is struck out. Also, the said motion having been withdrawn is accordingly struck out. In conclusion, I agree with the leading ruling of the PJ. – my learned brother, Katsina-Alu, JSC, just read out in the open court. No order as to costs.
F. F. TABAI, J.S.C: I agree entirely with the ruling just delivered by my learned brother, Katsina-Alu, JSC.
P. O. ADEREMI, J.S.C: Mr. Fagbemi having withdrawn his appeal, it is hereby struck: similarly motion in SC.74/2007 filed on 1st June, 2007 having been withdrawn, is hereby struck out. Ruling of the court was read by Justice Katsina-Alu, the Presiding Justice.I agree with the ruling just read by Justice Katsina-Alu.
C. M. CHUKWUMA-ENEH, J.S.C: Court: Case resumed after it’s stood down. The appeal and the application having been withdrawn, are hereby struck out. Case sent to the court below to be heard on the merit. I agree with the judgment of the presiding justice. Appeal struck Out, 2nd respondent application struck out.
I.O. Fagbemi, SAN (with him Chief Awa Kalu, SAN; N.O.O.
Oke, SAN; Steve Dappa Ado; O. O. Olorundare; H. O. Afolabi;
K O. Fagbemi; S. A. Oke; S. O. Adewoye; A. O. Popoola; B.
A. Oyun and Wumi Oladujoye) For Appellant
Chief Amaechi Nwaiwu, SAN (with him, O. Uba) –
J. B. Daudu, SAN (with him, E. C. Ukala, SAN; Joe Agi, SAN;
O. Wali, Esq.; C. Ihua-Maduenyi, Esq.; K U. Obayi, Esq. and
KAkujom, Esq.) –
J. K Gadzama, SAN (with him, R. O. Yusuf, Esq.; O. U.
Ozumba, Esq.; E. J. Gamaliel, Esq. and H. Odangla [Miss]) For Respondent