LEGAL NUGGETS (34):"OR" .By Adedotun Habeeb Adetunji LL.M (M.IoD), FCAI.

ONI & ANOR V. FRN (2012)LPELR-9839(CA)

"OR" : Interpretation of the word "or" when used in a statute

"The word 'or', a conjunction, is deployed in-between the two verbs - transfers and spends in section 22(5) of the Act. In the interpretation of statutes, the word 'or' is usually construed as disjunctive, see Ndoma - Egba vs. Chukwuogor (2004) 6 NWLR (pt. 369) 382; Olaleye-Ote vs. Babalola (2012) 6 NWLR (pt. 1297) 574. Having regard to this cardinal principle of interpretation of enactments, the intention of the lawmakers in enacting that provision is not a second-guess. It is that transfer of any sum allocated for a particular project or service is a distinct crime from spending any sum earmarked for a particular project or service on another project or service. Hence, the law makers, in their infinite wisdom, employed the disjunctive word or 'or' to separate the two criminal wrongs." Per OGBUINYA, J.C.A. (Pp. 30-31, paras. F-B)

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