Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi V. Independent National Electoral Commission (2007)
LAWGLOBAL HUB Lead Judgment Report
I. KATSINA-ALU, J.S.C
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the court below given on 8th June, 2007, and the application by the 2nd respondent filed on 1st June, 2007, have been withdrawn both are struck out.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by the lower court was made contingent upon the disposal of the appeal and the application by 2nd respondent now withdrawn, it is directed that this appeal and the cross-appeal before the court below be expeditiously heard as previously ordered.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.