PRINCIPLE OF FAIR HEARING –WHETHER IT IS THE DUTY OF COURT TO ENSURE A PARTY TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THE FAIR HEARING OF A CASE  

 

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06/05/2020 11:49 am  
"It cannot be gainsaid - and there are authorities in support of this - that a trial Judge can indulge a party in the judicial process for some time but not for all times. A trial Judge has the right to withdraw his indulgence at the point the fair hearing principle will be compromised, compounded or will not really be fair as it affects the opposing party. At that stage, the trial Judge will, and rightly too for that matter, retrace his steps of indulgence and follow the path of fair hearing as it affects the opposing party, who equally yearns for it in the judicial process. At that stage, the party who is not up and doing to take advantage of the fair hearing principle put at his door steps by the trial Judge, cannot complain that he was denied fair hearing, Newswatch Communications Ltd v Atta (2006) LPELR -1986 (SC) 25; D - G. Thus, while it is the duty of the court to create the atmosphere or environment for a fair hearing of a case, it is not the duty of the court to make sure that a party takes advantage of the atmosphere or environment by involving himself in the fair hearing of the case. A party who refuses or fails to take advantage of the fair hearing process created by the court cannot turn around to accuse the court of denying him fair hearing. That is not fair to the court and counsel must not instigate his client to accuse the court of denying him fair hearing, Chidoka v. First Class Finance Co. Ltd. (2001) 2 NWLR (pt. 697) 216, 227; Newswatch Communications Ltd v Atta (supra) 25; B- D. From the observation of the trial court set out above, it is obvious that counsel for the appellant falls into the category of those who think that litigation is a matter of planting mines to deceive the opponent with a view to destroying his case undeservedly in limine, Newswatch Communications Ltd v Atta (supra). -
 
 
PER C. C. NWEZE, J.S.C IN ISSA BIO VS THE STATE Suit no:SC.475/2017

Legalpedia Electronic Citation: (2020)Legalpedia (SC) 31976
 



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