LEGAL NUGGETS (49): Effect Of Failure To Affix The Approved Seal And Stamp Of The Nigerian Bar Association On A Legal Document.By Adedotun Habeeb Adetunji LL.M (M.IoD), FCAI.


SURU v. GOMA (2018) LPELR-44650(CA)

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STAMP/SEAL : Effect of failure to affix the approved seal and stamp of the Nigerian Bar Association on a legal document.

"In respect of the Respondent's failure to affix the stamp and seal of the Nigeria Bar Association to its processes and the contention of the Appellant that this contravenes the provisions of Rule 10(3) of the Rules of Professional Conduct 2007, the attitude of the apex Court is encapsulated in the decision of the Court in the case of SARKIN YAKI vs. BAGUDU (2015) 64 NSCQR 93 AT 100 on the subject to the effect that the document so signed or filed shall be deemed not to have been properly signed or filed and that does not mean that the document is null and void or incompetent like the case of a process signed in the name of a corporation or association as in the case of OKAFOR vs. NWEKE (2007) 10 NWLR (PT. 1043) 521 SC. In the said case of SARKIN YAKI vs. BAGUDU (Supra) the apex Court per ONNOGHEN, JSC (As he then was but now CJN) is of the view that the process filed in breach of Rule 10 can be saved and its signing and filing regularized by affixing the seal and stamp since it is only a legal document improperly filed. In essence therefore, the position is therefore settled that the effect of the failure to affix the stamp/seal does not invalidate the process filed without the seal. It remains a mere irregularity that should not void the Respondent's processes at the Court below." Per OHO, J.C.A. (Pp. 29-30, Paras. C-C)

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