LEGAL NUGGETS (Series 114) - ISSUE: SETTING ASIDE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT: Grounds Upon Which the Supreme Court Would Set Aside its Own Judgment.- By Adedotun Habeeb Adetunji, LL.M (M.IoD), FCAI


SETTING ASIDE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT: Grounds upon which the Supreme court would set aside its own judgment.

In Adegoke Motors Ltd V. Adesanya & Anor (1939) 5 SC 113; (1989) 3 NWLR (Pt.109) 250 at 274, on the inherent power of this court to set aside its decision whenever necessary, it had been stated thus:
"We are final not because we are infallible; rather we are infallible because we are final. 

Justices of this court are human beings capable of erring. It will be short-sighted annoyance not to accept this obvious truth."
Therefore, the following are such cases where this court will sequel to appropriate application set aside its own judgment:

1. When the judgment is obtained by fraud or deceit either in the court or of one or more of the parties. Alaka V. Adekunle (1959) LLR 76, Plower V. Lloyd (1877) 6 Ch.D.297, Olufunmise V. Falana (1990) 3 NWLR (pt. 136) 1. 

2. Where the judgment is a nullity and a person affected by the order of court which can be described as a nullity is entitled ex debito justicia to have it set aside. Sken Consult Ltd. V. Ukey (1981) 1 SC 6, Craig V. Kansen (1943) 1 KB 256, 262 and 263. Ojiako & 7 Ors V. Ogueze (1962) 1 SCNLR 112 Okafor & Ors. V. A.G. Anambra State & or s (1991) 6 NWLR (Pt.200) 659 at 680.

 3. When it is obvious that the court was misled into giving judgment under a mistaken belief that the parties consented to it. Agubiade V. Okunoga & Co. (1961) All NLR 110, Obimonure V. Erinosh O. (1966) 1 All NLR 250.

4. Where the judgment was given in the absence of jurisdiction. Madukolu V. Nkemdilim & Ors (1962) 2 SCNLR 341. Sken Consult V. Ukey (1981) 1 SC.6. 

5. Where the procedure adopted was such as to deprive the decision or judgment of the character of a legitimate adjudication. Igwe & Ors V. Kalu & Ors (2002) 14 NWLR (Pt. 987) 435, (2002) 12 SCM 89 Alao V. ACB Ltd (200) 9 NWLR (Pt.672) 264.'' Per ARIWOOLA, J.S.C.

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