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UNIVERSITY OF PORT HARCOURT & ORS v. PROFESSOR PETER O.M. NNABUO

(2018) LPELR-45877(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 21st day of September, 2018

CA/OW/483M/2017(R)


Before Their Lordships

MASSOUD ABDULRAHMAN OREDOLA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

AYOBODE OLUJIMI LOKULO-SODIPE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

ITA GEORGE MBABA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

1. UNIVERSITY OF PORT
HARCOURT
2. THE VICE-CHANCELLOR, UNIVERSITY OF PORTHARCOURT
3. THE REGISTRAR, UNIVERSITY OF PORTHARCOURT
4. THE COUNCIL, UNIVERSITY OF PORTHARCOURT - Appellant(s)

AND

PROFESSOR PETER O.M. NNABUO - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This is a ruling on an application for extension of time to appeal.
FACTS:
The motion on notice dated 15/12/2017 and filed before the Court on the same date, was brought by the Applicants pursuant to Section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act, 2004; Order 6 Rules 1, 2, 7 and 9(1) of the Court of Appeal Rules, 2016 and the inherent jurisdiction of the Court. Therein, the Applicants seek for the following: -
"1. Extension of time to seek leave to appeal against the decision of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria Owerri Division contained in the judgment delivered by Hon. Justice O.Y. Anuwe on the 9th of January, 2017 in Suit No. NICN/OW/27/2014 - Professor Peter O.M. Nnabuo V. University of Port-Harcourt & 3 Ors.
2. Leave to appeal against the decision of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Owerri Division contained in the judgment delivered by Hon. Justice O.Y. Anuwe on the 9th of January, 2017 in Suit No. NICN/OW/27/2014 - Professor Peter O.M. Nnabuo V. University of Port-Harcourt & 3 Ors. out of time.
3. An Order extending the time within which the Appellants/Applicants can appeal against the decision of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Owerri Division, contained in the judgment delivered by Hon. Justice O.Y. Anuwe on the 9th of January, 2017 in Suit No. NICN/OW/27/2014 - Professor Peter O.M. Nnabuo V. University of Port-Harcourt & 3 Ors. 
4. An Order deeming the Notice and Grounds of Appeal (copy of which is hereto annexed as EXHIBIT B1) already filed and served by the Applicants as having been properly filed and served, all necessary fees having been paid.
5. An Order staying the execution of the judgment of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria Owerri Division delivered by Hon. Justice O.Y. Anuwe, on the 9th of January, 2017 in Suit No. NICN/OW/27/2017 - Professor Peter O.M. Nnabuo V. University of Port-Harcourt pending appeal.

As parties were at daggers drawn in respect of the motion, the Court ordered written addresses to be filed and parties duly compiled with this. The order for written addresses was made after the Court in its wisdom and discretion had allowed the oral application by the Applicants to add the words "extension of time to seek" to prayer 1 in the motion paper which at the time of filing simply read: - 
"Leave to appeal against the decision of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria Owerri Division contained in the judgment delivered by Hon. Justice O.Y. Anuwe on the 9th of January, 2017 in Suit No. NICN/OW/27/2014 - Professor Peter O.M. Nnabuo V. University of Port-Harcourt & 3 Ors." 

The motion was subsequently entertained on 28/6/2018 with learned lead counsel, E.A. Njoku, in urging the Court to grant same, relying on the supporting affidavit and also adopting and relying on Applicants' written address dated 18/4/2018 and filed on same date as well as Applicants' reply on points of law dated 8/5/2018 and filed same date.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the application on the sole issue raised by the Respondent and couched as follows:

"Whether this application deserves to be granted?"

DECISION/HELD:
On the whole, the Court granted the following orders:
1. An order granting the Applicants extension of time till 21/9/2018 to seek for leave to appeal against the decision of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria Owerri Division contained in the judgment delivered by HON. JUSTICE O. Y. ANUWE on the 9th of January, 2017 in SUIT NO. NICN/OW/277/2014 - PROFESSOR PETER O. M. NNABUO V. UNIVERSITY OF PORT-HARCOURT & 3 ORS. 
2. An order granting the Applicants leave to appeal against the decision of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Owerri Division, contained in the judgment delivered by HON. JUSTICE O.Y. ANUWE on the 9th of January, 2017 in SUIT NO. NICN/OW/27/2014 - PROFESSOR PETER O. M. NNABUO V. UNIVERSITY OF PORT-HARCOURT & 3 ORS out of time.
3. An order extending by 14 days from the date hereof, the time within which the Appellants/Applicants are to file in the registry of the lower Court their notice of appeal in the manner of Exhibit "B" attached to the instant motion, against the decision of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Owerri Division, contained in the judgment delivered by HON. JUSTICE O.Y. ANUWE on the 9th of January, 2017 in SUIT NO. NICN/OW/27/2014 - PROFESSOR PETER O. M. NNABUO V. UNIVERSITY OF PORT-HARCOURT & 3 ORS.


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