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DR DAYO OLAGUNJU v. FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

(2018) LPELR-43909(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 9th day of March, 2018

SC.991/2015


Before Their Lordships

IBRAHIM TANKO MUHAMMAD Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

KUMAI BAYANG AKA'AHS Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

AMINA ADAMU AUGIE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

PAUL ADAMU GALINJE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

SIDI DAUDA BAGE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

DR. DAYO OLAGUNJU - Appellant(s)

AND

FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on a No Case Submission. 
FACTS:
The genesis of this appeal stems from the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja presided over by Chukwu J. delivered on 7 November, 2014 in Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/177/2009 in which he overruled several "No Case Submissions" made by learned counsel for the appellant and six others standing trial in an amended 79 count charge for fraud and embezzlement of public funds. The trial Judge had earlier ruled on 26 November, 2012 on the consolidated preliminary objections on the issue of jurisdiction.

The appellant appealed against the ruling to the Court of Appeal, Abuja which delivered its judgment on 8 December, 2015 upholding the ruling of the learned trial Judge and dismissing the appeal. The lower Court ordered the appellant to proceed to enter his defence. 

The appellant felt dissatisfied with the judgment of the Court below and further appealed to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
Appellant distilled two issues viz:
1. Whether the Court of Appeal was right not to have nullified the proceedings for want of jurisdiction.
2. Whether the Court of Appeal rightly held that the appellant has a case to answer.

Respondent framed two issues viz:
(a) Whether the Court of Appeal was right in holding that the trial Court was functus officio on the issue of jurisdiction as raised by the appellant.
(b) Whether the Court of Appeal was right in affirming the decision of the trial Court that appellant should enter his defence.

DECISION/HELD:
The Appeal was dismissed for lack of merit. The case was remitted to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for re-assignment to another Judge who has to commence trial de novo owing to the death of Chukwu J. who sat on the matter at first instance.

It was also ordered that any objection regarding jurisdiction or any other objection should be heard along with the substantive case.


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