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ABOLASE M & ORS v. MESSRS CHEVRON NIGERIA LIMITED & ANOR

(2019) LPELR-47516(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Wednesday, the 15th day of May, 2019

CA/L/202M/2017(R)


Before Their Lordships

JOSEPH SHAGBAOR IKYEGH Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

UGOCHUKWU ANTHONY OGAKWU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

GABRIEL OMONIYI KOLAWOLE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

1. ABOLASE M.
2. ADEYEMI M. A.
3. ANAZIA, M.
4. ANYIGBO, J. O.
5. ARUWEI, I. W.
6. AYENI, O.
7. DADA, S. A.
8. EBULU, S. O.
9. EDEMA, A. U.
10. EJUKONEMU, L.
11. EREWA, A. O.
12. EROMOSELE, F. O.
13. IRENONSE S. O.
14. IRIMISOSE, M.
15. JAKPA, A. O.
16. MARTINS, I. O.
17. MBA, P. C.
18. NIKORO, D. D.
19. NWAMUO, J. I.
20. ODERINDE, B. O. A.
21. OFOARAMIEYERE, M.
22. OGBENI, R. S.
23. OHIAERI, O. O.
24. OLALEYE, A. J.
25. OLANIYAN, S. O.
26. OLOMA, G. O.
27. OYEWOLA, B. O.
28. PIRA, S. N.
29. SIFO, J.
30. SOBODU, C. O.
31. SONDE, A. O.
32. TEDEYE, O. S.
33. TUOYO, B. A. S.
34. ULORI, G. T.
35. UMUKPEDI, D. D. - Appellant(s)

AND

1. MESSRS CHEVRON NIGERIA LTD
2. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

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Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This is a ruling on an application for extension of time within which to appeal.
FACTS:
By an application filed on 16th February, 2017, the Applicants sought for:
"1) AN ORDER extending the time within which the Applicants may appeal against the decision of the Hon. Justice S.O. Nwaka, sitting at the High Court of Lagos State, Lagos Judicial Division, contained in the Ruling delivered on the 9th day of March, 2012 in Suit No. LD/1388/2003."

The grounds upon which the application is predicated are as follows:
"(1) That by the combined effect of Section 25 of the Court of Appeal Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section 241(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, time within which the Applicants may appeal against the decision of the High Court of Lagos in the said Suit, has elapsed.
(2) The Applicants have found themselves in a quagmire as a result of the striking out for lack of jurisdiction by the lower Court instead of transferring the Applicants' Suit filed in 2003, many years before Section 254(c)(1)(a) of the Third Alteration Act, 2010, of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
(3) The Applicants are eager to prosecute their appeal."

The application was supported by an affidavit of nineteen paragraphs and a further affidavit of seven paragraphs filed on 28th March, 2017. The documents relied upon which include the decision of the lower Court and the proposed Notice of Appeal were attached to the supporting affidavit as exhibits.

The 1st Respondent opposed the application by filing a counter affidavit of thirteen paragraphs on 3rd March, 2017 and a further counter affidavit of six paragraphs on 6th December, 2018. The documents relied upon by the 1st Respondent were attached to the counter affidavits. The 2nd Respondent did not file any processes in respect of the application and also did not appear at the hearing.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the Application on a sole issue as formulated by the Applicants:
"Whether given the facts as set out in the supporting affidavit and further affidavit, the Applicants have offered substantial and cogent reasons for the Court to exercise its discretion in granting the application for extension of time in favour of the Applicants?"

DECISION/HELD:
In conclusion, the Court refused the application.


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