Architects Registration Council Of Nigeria (No.3) In Re: O.c. Majoroh V. Prof. M. A. Fassassi (1987) LLJR-SC
Architects Registration Council Of Nigeria (No.3) In Re: O.c. Majoroh V. Prof. M. A. Fassassi (1987)
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This appeal is a direct offshoot of a case wherein the High Court of Lagos State has made a positive order to the effect that-
“The Defendant (sic. The Architects Registration Council) by any of its members, officers or servants performing the ‘duties’ specified in section 5 of the Act, shall upon being served with this Order register the Plaintiff (sic. Prof. Fassassi) in that part of the Register of Architects in respect of fully registered persons and entitling the Plaintiff to practice as principal under the Act.” (Italics mine)
This Order, which has been made, since 15th January, 1982, was never challenged by the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria, yet, the order has still not been carried out. And though, that Council is not directly a party to this appeal, it is the Council’s default to obey the said Court Order, that has formed the basis of this appeal.
At this stage, I do not intend to set down what is in dispute, in the instant appeal.
However, the following facts are certainly not in dispute.
- That section 2(1) of Act No. 10 of 1969-The Architects (Registration etc.) Act 1969- has established a body, which is known as the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria;
- That section 5(1) empowers the Council, and in fact imposes a duty on it, to appoint a fit person to be the Registrar for the purposes of the Act;
- That the Registrar, who is appointed in this regard, is saddled with duties under section 5 of the Act and these duties include preparation and maintenance of register of the names, addresses and approved qualifications, and of such other particulars as may be specified, of all persons who are entitled to be registered as architects and who apply in the specified manner to be so registered;
- That Arc. O.C. Majoroh, the appellant herein, is now the Ag. Registrar of the Council and has been before September 1985.
- That the provisions of the law, as stated above, are still extant;
- That (and this is what Chief Williams himself has told us in this Court, in the course of his submissions) the Respondent, Prof. Fassassi, is now qualified to be registered as a fully fledged Architect, and this the Council would do if the Respondent applied.
The Council has failed to carry out the order of the Court to have the Respondent registered. even though there is now an Ag. Registrar of the Council to carry out such duties under section 5(1) of the Act. I am not unaware of the contention of the Appellant that the Council had been dissolved before the judgment of the High Court was given and in the event of this Court holding that the Council was not so dissolved, then it had already been dissolved since January 1986. In other words, he, Arc. Majoroh, as Ag. Registrar of the Council, could not be called upon to carry out an order of the Court, which has been directed to a non-existent Council.
However, having regard to the undisputed facts stated above, and the fact that the High Court order of 15th January, 1982 was not only directed to the Architects Registration Council, but also to any of its officers, it seems to me that neither the Council nor the Appellant as one of such officers will be damnified by the registration of the Respondent, more especially, as it has now been conceded that he is qualified and eligible for registration. Accordingly, it is hereby ordered.
That Arc. O. C. Majoroh, in his capacity as the Ag. Registrar of the Architects Registration Council, shall register the Respondent, Prof. M.A. Fassassi in that part of the Register of Architects in respect of fully registered persons and entitling the said Prof. M.A. Fassassi to practice as a Principal under the Architects (Registration etc.) Act 1969 No. 10.
This order shall be carried out forthwith and evidence that it has been so carried out, shall be filed by the said Arc. O.C. Majoroh, with the Registrar of this Court, within 24 hours of this Order. And this shall be the order of this Court.
The appeal of O.C. Majoroh itself is allowed. He was certainly not in contempt of court having regard to all the surrounding circumstances. Form 48 is hereby discharged.
No order as to costs.
ANIAGOLU, J.S.C.: I agree with the judgment just delivered by my learned brother, Kayode Eso, J.S.C., which was made available to me in draft. I also will order, and hereby order, the immediate registration of the Respondent, Professor M.A. Fassassi, by the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria. I also allow the appeal of O.C. Majoroh as decreed in the said judgment. No order as to costs.
KAZEEM, J.S.C.: I agree entirely with the judgment just read by my learned brother Kayode Eso J.S.C.; and I have nothing more to add. Accordingly I will also allow the appeal and make the order contained in that judgment.
The order made now is not yet enrolled, but Chief Williams seeks an opportunity to be heard as to whether or not a competent Court of this height can make such an order.
OPUTA, J.S.C.: Judgment read out in open Court by the Presiding Justice. I agree with that judgment. I have nothing more to add. I agree also with the consequential orders made.
BELGORE, J.S.C.: I agree with the judgment just read by my learned brother, Eso, J.S.C. I also allow this appeal with no order as to costs. I order also that the respondent be registered within twenty four hours in line with the order of the High Court giving rise to the motion leading to the final appeal to this Court.
Registration of Respondent ordered but
Appeal allowed on issue of contempt.