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(2018) LPELR-44375(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 4th day of May, 2018


Before Their Lordships

OLABODE RHODES-VIVOUR Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

MARY UKAEGO PETER-ODILI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

JOHN INYANG OKORO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

AMIRU SANUSI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

SIDI DAUDA BAGE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


WILLIAM ANGADI - Appellant(s)


3. RIGHT HON. MUTU NICHOLAS - Respondent(s)

Other Citations

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This appeal borders on Electoral Matters.
This is an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, upholding the decision of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The Appellant and 3rd Respondent were members of the 1st Respondent, a Political Party and both parties contested primary election under the auspices of the 1st Respondent in respect of the General Election into the House of Representative for Bomadi/Patani Federal Constituency of Delta State. The primary election held on 6th December, 2014. The 1st Respondent submitted the name of the 3rd Respondent to the 2nd Respondent, as its candidate for the general election. Aggrieved by that action, appellant took out an originating Summons before the trial Federal High Court in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/1049/14 on 18th December, 2014 and subsequently another at the F.C.T. High Court in Suit No:FCT/HC/CV/887/14 on 23rd December, 2014, asking the Court to compel the 1st respondent to sponsor him as its candidate in the election into the Bomadi/Patani House of Representatives.

In response to the suit of the Appellant, the 3rd Respondent entered conditional appearance on 28th January, 2015 and filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection asking the trial Court to dismiss the suit of the Appellant for being a gross abuse of judicial process. On the date slated for definite hearing of the Preliminary objection, the trial Court gave a Ruling wherein it dismissed the action of the Appellant as constituting a gross abuse of judicial process without calling parties to address it on the Preliminary objection, or hearing Parties on the Objection filed.

Dissatisfied with the Ruling of the trial Court, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal. The 3rd Respondent again, filed a Notice of Preliminary objection challenging the competence of the appeal and prayed the Court to strike out the appeal for want of identifiable signatory to the Notice of Appeal. He also filed a Respondent's Notice to contend that the decision of the trial Court be affirmed on grounds other than those relied on by the trial Court. The Appellant further filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection to challenge the competency of the said Respondent's Notice.

In its judgment, the Court of Appeal dismissed the 3rd Respondent's Preliminary Objection citing substantial justice over technical justice. The Court also dismissed the Appellant's Preliminary Objection to the 3rd Respondent's "Respondent's Notice" and upheld the Respondent's Notice. The Court however, considering the fact that such decision may be overturned on appeal to the Supreme Court, considered the substantive appeal. Not pleased, appellant appealed to the Supreme Court.

The issue for determination in the appeal was:
"Whether the Court below was right to find that the trial Court correctly declined jurisdiction in dismissing the suit of the Appellant."

In conclusion, the appeal was dismissed.

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