PREAMBLE TO AN ENACTMENT – PURPOSE OF A PREAMBLE TO AN ENACTMENT – WHETHER APREAMBLE TO AN ENACTMENT CAN BE RESORTED TO AS AN AID IN INTERPRETING THE ENACTMENT
“A preamble to an enactment, though not part of the body of the enactment, can be resorted to as an aid in interpreting the enactment, especially where there is some difficulty in arriving at the meaning of word used in the enactment vide Osawe and Ors. v. Registrar of Trade Unions (1985) 1 NWLR (pt. 4) 755.
It is all the more so in light of the fact that a preamble to an enactment is its preface or introduction. Its purpose is to portray or show-case the interest of the framer(s) of the enactment and the mischief the enactment is set out to remedy. Although it may sometimes serve as a key to understanding of the enactment, a preamble is not strictly part of the enactment and so, as a general rule, it may not be resorted to as an aid to interpretation except in special circumstances vide Chief Ogbonna v. The Attorney-General of Imo State and Ors. (1992) 1 NWLR (pt. 220) 647 at 671 – 672, 677, 686 and 694 – 965. The preamble in paragraph 3(e) of the FREPR (supra) therefore sheds light on the scope of the standing to sue in fundamental rights cases.”
PER J. S. IKYEGH, JCA in OLUMIDE BABALOLA Vs ATTORNEY GENERAL, FEDERATION & ANOR LER CA/L/42/2016 https://legalpediaonline.com/olumide-babalola-vs-attorney-general-federation-anor/
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