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AFOLABI FAJEBE & ANOR v. ISAAC ADEBAYO OPANUGA

(2019) LPELR-46348(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 11th day of January, 2019

SC.130/2010

Before Their Lordships

OLABODE RHODES-VIVOUR    –  Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

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

KUMAI BAYANG AKA’AHS       –  Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

JOHN INYANG OKORO           – Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

AMIRU SANUSI                      –  ustice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

Between

  1. AFOLABI FAJEBE

(Substituted for his father, Alfred Olaiya Fajebe (deceased)

by Order of Court dated 28/1/2013)

  1. MOPELOLA FAJEBE

(Substituted for her mother, Madam Ade Oyegunle (deceased)

by Order of Court dated 28/1/2013 – Appellant(s)

AND

ISAAC ADEBAYO OPANUGA

(Substituted for his father Michael Opanuga (deceased)

by Order of Court dated 4/2/2003 – Respondent(s)

Other Citations

INTRODUCTION:

This appeal borders on Civil Procedure.

FACTS:

This is an appeal against the ruling of the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos. 

On 16th January, 2008, the Court of Appeal, Lagos (coram: Ogunbiyi and Galinje JJCA as they were then) and Mshelia JCA heard a motion filed 11 January, 2003 by the appellants applicants seeking the following reliefs:- 

  1. Granting the applicants leave to amend the notice of Appeal dated the 26th day of March, 2001 in the terms of Exhibit HO1 attached.
  2. Granting the applicants leave of this Honourable Court to raise a new issue in this appeal as formulated in Ground 2 of the Proposed Amended Notice of Appeal and issues 3 and 4 under the issues for determination of the Brief of Arguments filed and served.
  3. Granting the applicants leave of this Honourable Court to file additional grounds of appeal.
  4. Extending the time limited by the rules within which to file the Applicants’ Brief of Argument.
  5. Deeming the Amended Notice of Appeal filed and served by the applicants as having been properly filed and served.
  6. Deeming the additional ground of appeal filed as having been properly filed.

Ruling on the application, the Court refused to grant the application and also dismissed the substantive appeal.

Being aggrieved with the ruling, the Appellants appealed to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:

The Court determined the appeal on this issue couched as follows:

“Whether considering all the facts and circumstances of this case, the learned Justice (sic) of the Court of Appeal were right to have dismissed the appeal of the appellants, for failure to file their brief of argument within time in the light of the unassailable and uncontroverted facts stated in the affidavit in support of the appellants’ motion prayer inter alia for an order extending the time to file the said brief and which delay was attributed to ill-health and inadvertence of counsel coupled with the untardiness of the Registry of the Court of Appeal in making available the necessary documents on demand.”

DECISION/HELD:

On the whole, the Court found merit in the appeal and accordingly allowed same. The decision of the Court of Appeal was set aside. The Appellants’ application at the Court of Appeal was therefore granted in terms of prayers 1,2, 3  and 4 of the motion.

  1. SALISU MAMUDA v. THE STATE

(2019) LPELR-46343(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 11th day of January, 2019

SC.225/2015

Before Their Lordships

WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN   –  Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD                –    Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

KUMAI BAYANG AKA’AHS                     –     Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

JOHN INYANG OKORO                        –    Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE                     –   Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

Between

  1. SALISU MAMUDA – Appellant(s)

AND

THE STATE – Respondent(s)

Other Citations

INTRODUCTION:

This appeal borders on Criminal Law and Procedure.

FACTS:

This is an appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna.

The appellant who was arraigned and charged along with five others inter-alia for rape contrary to Section 283 of the Penal Code law at the Kano State High Court, was found guilty under the 11th, 12th and 13th heads of charge for raping one Hindatu Sani on the 26th, 27th and 28 of October 2010 respectively. 

On conviction, he was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and a N50, 000.00k (fifty thousand naira) fine for each of the head of the three count charge. In default of the payment of the fine, a six month term of imprisonment was to be served for each head of the charge. The imprisonment terms were ordered to run concurrently.

Dissatisfied, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division, on a notice containing five grounds filed on the 25th June 2012. The appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

Further dissatisfied, the Appellant appealed  to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:

The court determined the appeal on these issues couched as follows:

APPELLANT’S ISSUES

  1. Whether in view of the totality of facts and circumstances of this case and the evidence properly before the trial Court, the Court below was right when it confirm the decision of the trial Court.
  2. Whether the contradictions in the prosecution witnesses testimonies is not material and fundamental to render their evidence unreliable and without probative value. 

iii. Whether the Lower Appellate Court was right in its findings that there was no breach to the Appellant’s right to fair hearing in the conduct of the entire proceedings. 

RESPONDENT’S ISSUES

  1. Whether the Court below was right to have affirmed the decision of the trial lower Court that the Respondent has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
  2. Whether the Court below was right to have affirmed the decision of the trial lower Court that there was no material contradiction in the respondent’s case.
  3. Whether the Court below was right to have held that the appellant’s right to fair hearing has not been breached.

DECISION/HELD:

On the whole, the Court found no merit in the appeal and accordingly dismissed same.

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