AMENDMENT OF COURT PROCESS - WHETHER AN AMENDMENT CAN BE GRANTED TO INCORPORATE PRAYERS FOR ENLARGEMENT OF TIME TO CURE THE DEFECT OF NOT HAVING ACTED IN A TIMELY MANNER  

 

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10/10/2019 11:16 am  
"Paragraph 16 (2) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act stipulates that the time for filing the Reply to a Respondents Reply shall not be extended. Equally, Paragraph 18 (4) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act provides that an application for extension of time to apply for pre-hearing notice shall not be filed or entertained. Therefore it seems that, in the peculiar circumstances of this matter, an amendment of the Motion of 24th April 2019 in order to include prayers for enlargement or extension of time, is a useless amendment which will not cure the defect in the proceedings and ought not to have been granted by the Tribunal.

 

Equally, by Paragraph 18 (4) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act , where the application for pre-hearing notice is not made within time, the Petition is deemed as abandoned. Abandon has been judicially interpreted to mean to desert, surrender, forsake, cede, relinquish or give up absolutely with intent of never again resuming ones right or interest. See Ndoma-Egba vs. Chukwuogor (2004) LPELR (1974) 1 at 28-30, Abue vs. Egbelo (2017) LPELR (43483) 1 at 12-13, ACN vs. Amaewhule (2011) LPELR (14264) 1 at 27 and Ali vs. Osakwe (2010) LPELR (3743) 1 at 55 . Given the legal consequence of a Petition being abandoned for not applying for pre-hearing notice within time, and all that will be left will be an order of dismissal under Paragraph 18 (4) ; the cause of action in the election petition had in such circumstances been relinquished and given up absolutely. To therefore grant an application for amendment to include a prayer for enlargement or extension of time to apply for pre-hearing notice is akin to granting an amendment to resurrect or create a suit that no longer existed, having been abandoned".
 
 
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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