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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION & ORS v. CHRISTOPHER OKEKE

(2018) LPELR-44461(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 11th day of May, 2018

SC.763/2013(R)


Before Their Lordships

OLABODE RHODES-VIVOUR Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD 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

EJEMBI EKO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

1. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
2. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS COMMITTEE OF THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
3. AMOS I. AZI
(SECRETARY ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS COMMITTEE) - Appellant(s)

AND

CHRISTOPHER OKEKE - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This is a ruling on an application to relist an appeal dismissed for the failure of the Appellant to file brief of argument.
FACTS:
The applicant brought an application to the Supreme Court seeking the following orders:

1. AN ORDER setting aside the decision of this Court given in Chambers on 18 February, 2015 in default of the Appellants' Brief.
2. AN ORDER restoring this appeal to the Court's list for determination on the merits.
3. AN ORDER enlarging time within which the Appellants/Applicants may file and serve the Appellants' Brief of Argument for hearing on the merits.
4. AN ORDER deeming the already filed and served Brief of Argument as properly filed and served.
5. AN ORDER permitting the departure from compliance with the Rules of this Court and accelerating the hearing of the appeal.

ALTERNATIVELY,
1. AN ORDER extending the time within which the Appellants/Applicants may seek leave of this Honourable Court to appeal against the Judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division in Appeal No. CA/I/13/2009 delivered on 29th January, 2013 by Amina Augie, JCA, lbrahim Musa Saulawa, JCA and S.D. Bage, JCA.
2. AN ORDER granting leave to the Appellants/Applicants to appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division in Appeal No.CA/I/13/2009 delivered on 29th January, 2013 by Amina Augie, JCA, lbrahim Musa Saulawa, JCA and S. D. Bage, JCA. 
3. AN ORDER for the extension of the time within which the Appellants/Applicants may appeal the Judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division in Appeal No. CA/L/I3/2009 delivered on 29th January, 2013 by Amina Augie, JCA, lbrahim Musa Saulawa, JCA and S. D. Bage, JCA.

The indubitable facts are that as at 18th February, 2015, when the appeal was dismissed for want of diligent prosecution, there was no application pending for extension of time within which the Appellants may file their brief of argument. It was admitted in paragraph 15 of the supporting affidavit inter alia that the appeal was dismissed "in chambers on 18th February, 2015, which was just over 10 months after the Applicants fell into default of filing the Brief." It was further averred for the Applicants, as the Appellants, that "there was no application to this Court to exercise its powers to dismiss the appeal for want of diligent prosecution" and that there was no finding, in apparent misconception that the original proviso to Rule 9(1) of Order 6 was still extant, by the Supreme Court that the appeal on its face lacked merit such as to warrant  summary dismissal in Chambers for want of filing of the Appellant's brief.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the application on the Applicant's first issue couched as follows:

"Whether this Court has jurisdiction to set aside its own judgment given on grounds of lack of diligent prosecution of appeal."

DECISION/HELD:
On the whole, the Court found no merit in the application and accordingly dismissed same.


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