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Home » Nigerian Cases » Supreme Court » Controller General Of Customs Vs. Controller Abdullahi B. Gusau (2017) LLJR-SC

Controller General Of Customs Vs. Controller Abdullahi B. Gusau (2017) LLJR-SC

Controller General Of Customs Vs. Controller Abdullahi B. Gusau (2017)

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I have had a preview of the Lead Judgment delivered by my learned brother Eko, JSC, and I agree with him that the Appeal lacks merit. I will add a few words of my own in total support.

This Court has done a marvelous work on the Court’s duty when faced with construction of a statutory provision to ascertained fact. See ADEWUMI & ANOR VS ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF EKITI STATE (2002) 2 NWLR (Pt.751) 474 at 511. Per Wali JSC (as he then was). He stated as follows :-

“When a Judge is faced with construction, interpretation and application of a statutory provision to the facts ascertain by him in a case, he must:-

(a) Read the statute to ascertain whether and how its meaning relates to the case in controversy;

(b) If the language i.e. the words or meaning ascertained from that language resolves the controversy, the injury terminates there;

(c) But if the language or meaning does not resolve the controversy then the judge must adjust and apply an appropriate Judicial Rule to decide and resolve the case or the issue in controversy.”

The Lead Judgment aptly discharged that duty in its construction to the Provisions of Section 9 of the Nigerian Customs Sendee Act, 2004, on one hand, and the role of the Public Service of the Federation as contained in item 53 of the Exclusive Legislative List contained in Part 1 of the second schedule to the 1999 Constitution on the other hand. The said Exclusive Legislative List is drawn pursuant to Section 4(2) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria. By the combined provisions of Sections 153(l)(d) to 159(1), and 160(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Federal Civil Service Commission may, with the approval of the President make rules to “regulate its own procedure or confer power and impose duties on any power or authority for the purpose of discharging its functions,” which are expressly stated in paragraph 11 of the Third schedule to the Constitution. The statement of policy, general or otherwise by the Nigerian Customs Service Board, the 4th Appellant, cannot overrule or wipe away the specific Provisions of the Public Service Rules made by the Federal Civil Service Commission which are written into the terms of Pensionable Contract of an Officer in the Public Service.

See also  Gabriel Olatunde V.obafemi Awolowo University & Anor (1998) LLJR-SC

It is for this and other reasons in the Lead Judgment that I also dismiss the Appeal, affirm the decision of the Court below, and abide by the Order as to costs contained in the Lead Judgment.

{Delivered by Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, CJN)

I have had the benefit of reading in draft the lead judgment of my learned brother, BAGE, JSC just delivered.

I agree with his reasoning and conclusion that the appeal has merit and should be allowed.

I hereby order accordingly and abide by the consequential orders made in the said lead judgment including the order as to costs.

Appeal allowed.

SC. 491/2014

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