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Alhaji A. Alli & Ors V. Union Trading Company Ltd. (1954) LJR-WACA

Alhaji A. Alli & Ors V. Union Trading Company Ltd. (1954

Appeals in Civil Cases—Appealsfrom Supreme Court decisions on appeal from Magistrates—Appeal by special leave—Time for appealing.

Section 12 of the Magistrates’ Courts (Appeals) Ordinance (Cap. 123), provides that:—

“Any person aggrieved by a decision of the appeal Court (viz. the Supreme Court) in a civil case may appeal to the West African Court of Appeal in the same manner as if such appeal were from a decision of the Supreme Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction and the provisions of the West African Court of Appeal Ordinance and the rules made under the provisions of the West African Court of Appeal Order in Council, 1948, relating to appeals in civil cases shall apply to any such appeal.” (As
amended by Ordinance No. 23 of 1952.)

Section 4 (i) of the West African Court of Appeal Ordinance (Cap. 229), provides that:—
“… where the Supreme Court has affirmed the decision of a Magistrate’s Court the appeal shall lie only by special leave of the Supreme Court.”

Rule 14 (1) and (2) of the West African Court of Appeal Rules, 1950, read:—
“(1) Subject to … no appeal shall be brought after the expiration of fourteen days in the case of an appeal against an interlocutory decision or of three months in the case of an appeal against a final decision, unless the Court below or the Court (viz. of Appeal) shall enlarge the time.

“(2) The prescribed period for appeal shall be calculated from the date of the decision appealed against.

See also  G. D. Laryea V. R. C. Quao (1940) LJR-WACA

“Provided that where there is no appeal as of right the prescribed period shall be calculated from the date upon which special leave to appeal is granted.”

Shortly put, rule 1 of the Supreme Court (Civil Procedure) (Amendment No. 3)
Rules of 1952 provides that an application for special leave shall be made within fourteen days from the date of the decision and shall be supported by grounds of appeal which prima facie show good cause for leave to be granted (text towards end of judgment infra).

The Supreme Court on appeal from the Magistrate affirmed his decision, and the appellants applied for special leave to appeal from the Supreme Court three months and one day after the date of the Supreme Court judgment. (They, it would seem, were given special leave and lodged their appeal.)

When their appeal came up before the Court of Appeal, the respondents raised a preliminary objection on the ground that rule 1 of the 1952 Amendment No. 3 Supreme Court Rules had not been complied with, and on the ground that the appeal had not been brought within three months of the Supreme Court judgment.

For the appellants it was argued that the prescribed period was to be calculated from the date on which special leave had been granted, in aocordance with the proviso to rule 14 (2) of the West African Court of Appeal Rules, 1950.

Held

The argument for the appellants meant that the appeal could be brought at any time. The preliminary objection was valid on all grounds and the appeal would be struck out

See also  Rex V. Sunday Omoni (1949) LJR-WACA

Appeal struck out.

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