MEANING OF AND CONDITIONS PRECEDENT TO THE APPLICABILITY OF THE PLEA OF RES JUDICATA  

 

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09/06/2020 3:14 pm  
 
"The meaning of the plea of res judicata is fairly well-settled. For example, in D. T. Tent (Nig.) Co. Ltd v Busari [2011] 8 NWLR (pt.1249) 387, this court explained that:

 

The doctrine of res judicata means that once a dispute or matter has been finally judicially pronounced upon or determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, neither the parties thereto nor their privies can subsequently be allowed to re-litigate the matter because a judicial determination properly handed down is conclusive until reversed by an appellate court. The veracity of that decision or determination is also not open to a challenge nor it be contradicted.

 

The doctrine is grounded on public policy which stipulates that there must be an end to litigation as captured in the Latin maxim 'interest rei publicae ut sit finis litium.' The plea of res judicata is only employed by a plaintiff as a sword as the legal effect to the effect that the court before which it has been raised has no jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

 

As indicated above, the counsel cited Aborisade v Abolarin [2000] 10 NWLR (pt 671) 41, 51-52 as an authority to confirm if the conditions of estoppel per rem judicatam exist- before it can be applied.

 

Such cases like Ogbolosingha and Anor v http://B.S.l.EC&source=gmail&ust=1591798127103000&usg=AFQjCNF0MS9ghoPwdbLIIBXrGkxxX1z-1 g">B.S.l.EC and Ors [2015] Vol 245 LRCN 140; D.T. TENT (Nig) Co. Ltd v Busari [2011] 8 NWLR (pt.1249) 387; Bwacha v Ikenye [2011] 3 NWLR (pt 1235) 610 confirm the proposition that the conditions listed below must exist before the doctrine of res Judicata can apply.

 

•The parties or their privies are the same in both the previous and present proceeding;

 

•The claim or the issue in dispute in both actions is the same.

 

•The res or the subject matter of the litigation in the two cases is the same;

 

•The decision relied upon to support the plea of estoppel per rem judicatam is valid, subsisting or final;

 

•The court that gave the previous decision, upon which to sustain the plea, is a court of competent jurisdiction. -
 
 
PER C. C. NWEZE, J.S.C IN ALHAJI ABBA MOHAMMED SANI VS THE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA & ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION


suit no: SC.68/2010

 


Legalpedia Electronic Citation: (2019) Legalpedia (SC) 42611

 


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