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Okotere & Ors V. Gwagwa & Ors (2022) LLJR-SC

Okotere & Ors V. Gwagwa & Ors (2022)

LAWGLOBAL HUB Lead Judgment Report

EMMANUEL AKOMAYE AGIM, J.S.C. 

This appeal No. SC/CV/1165/2021 was commenced on 15-12-2021 when the appellants herein filed a notice of appeal against the part of the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on 3-12-2021 in Appeal No. CA/ABJ/CV/766/2021 striking out the cross-appeal for having become academic.

The cross appeal to the Court of Appeal was against the judgment of the trial High Court in Suit No. FCT/HC/CV/1052/2021 delivered on 27-9-2021 for failure to consider and decide the cross appellant’s application in Motion No. M/4239/2021 to set aside the ex-parte order made by the trial Court on 22-6-2021 abridging the time within which the cross appellants may file their counter affidavits in opposition to the originating summons. The trial Court in its judgment had upheld the objection that it had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit as it was statute barred, having been filed after 14 days from the date of the occurrence of the event, act or decision complained about contrary to Section 285(9) of the 1999 Constitution and therefore felt there was no need deciding a procedural point in a suit it had adjudged statute barred.

The Court of Appeal held concerning the cross appeal that it had become academic in the light of its decisions on the preliminary objections against the appeal and cross appeal before it.

The decision of this Court in SC/CV/1166/2021 setting aside the decision of the Court of Appeal that Suit No. FCT/HC/CV/1052/2021 is not statute barred and restoring the judgment of the trial Court that it had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit as it was statute barred, having been filed after 14 days from the date of the occurrence of the event, act or decision complained about contrary to Section 285(9) of the 1999 Constitution, has rendered the determination of this Appeal No. SC/CV/1165/2021 unnecessary and academic. No useful purpose would be served determining this appeal.

See also  Yekini Bakare Vs The State (1972) LLJR-SC

As it is, this Court cannot exercise jurisdiction to determine an appeal that has become academic. The issues raised for determination therein have become like the theoretical questions of the legendary Greek orator Demosthenes who reputedly addressed the sea when he had no human audience. Determining them would be a vain and sterile engagement. By virtue of Section 6(6)(b) of the 1999 Constitution the judicial powers of a Court cannot extend to determination of such questions.

In the light of the foregoing, this appeal is hereby struck out. No order of costs.


SC.1165/2021

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