AMENDMENT OF COURT PROCESSES - PRINCIPLES GOVERNING AMENDMENT OF COURT PROCESSES  

 

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10/10/2019 11:14 am  
"The Courts have in a long list of decided cases established the basic principles governing amendment. Basically, an amendment for the purposes of determining the real questions in controversy between the parties ought to be allowed by the Court unless such amendment will entail injustice. See Adetutu vs. Aderohunmu (1984) 1 SCNLR 515; Amadi vs. Aplin (1972) 4 SC 228; Ojah vs. Ogboni (1976) 4 SC 69 and Ogidi vs. Egba (supra) . In Alsthom S. A. vs. Saraki (2000) FWLR (PT 28) 2267 , Achike, JSC (of blessed memory) stated at page 2276 as follows: 

 

Amendment enables the slips, blunders, errors and inadvertence of counsel to be corrected, in the interest of justice, ensuring always that no injustice is occasioned to the other party. The weight of judicial authorities leans in favour of allowing a party to amend its legal processes whenever the need arises in order to ensure that the real matter in controversy between the parties, shorn of manifest errors, mistakes and slips, is adequately brought to focus and determined, with the proviso, however, that the right of adversary party is neither unduly compromised nor unredressed. 

 

Also reported in (2000) 14 NWLR (PT 687) 415 at 424.

 

In his own contribution, Karibi-Whyte, JSC, at page 2280 stated: 

 

The basic principle governing the grant of leave to amend is for the purpose of determining the real issue or issues in controversy between the parties... The Courts have always followed the established principle that the fundamental object of adjudication is to decide the rights of the parties, and not to impose sanctions merely for mistakes they make in the conduct of their cases by deciding otherwise than in accordance with their rights. 

 

Also reported in (2000) 14 NWLR (PT 687) 415 at 427.

 

See also UBN PLC vs. Sparkling Breweries Ltd (1997) 3 NWLR   (PT 491) 29 at 48 49. 

 

The above underscores the liberal approach of the Courts in ordinary common law civil actions. But this matter is not an ordinary common law civil action. It is an election petition, which is sui generis. Therefore, the application for amendment has to be considered against this background; regard being had to the fact that time is of the essence in election petition cases and the right to extend time or amend processes has been limited by the provisions of Paragraphs 14, 16 and 18 of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act".
 
 
 
PER U.A.OGAKWU, J.C.A IN LANRE OKUNLOLA & ANOR V OLATUNJI ABIOLA SHOYINKA & ANOR

CA/L/EPT/REP/856/2019


LEGALPEDIA ELECTRONIC CITATION:LER[2019]CA/L/EPT/REP/856/2019

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