UNDEFENDED LIST PROCEDURE - NATURE AND PURPOSE OF THE UNDEFENDED LIST PROCEDURE  

 

Gbenga Babawibe
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 156
13/09/2019 10:13 am  
"Enunciating the rationale for this prescription, this court in Wema Securities and Finance Plc v NAIC (2015) -24833 (SC) -67 -70, E-C, explained [per Nweze, JSC] that:

...the Undefended List procedure is a truncated form of the civil litigation process peculiar to the adversarial judicial system. Under the said procedure, ordinary hearing is rendered unnecessary due, in the main, to the absence of an issue to be tried, UBA and Anor v Jargaba (2007) LPELR -3399 (SC) 27; Agwuneme v Eze [1990] 3 NWLR (pt. 137) 242Essentially, therefore, it is designed to secure quick justice and to avoid the injustice likely to occur when there is no genuine defence on the merits to the plaintiffs case, International Bank for West Africa Limited v Unakalamba [1998] 9 NWLR (pt. 565) 245.

It is, usually, meant to shorten the hearing of a suit where the claim is for a liquidated sum, Co­operative and Commerce Bank (Nigeria) Plc v. Samed Investment Company Limited [2000] 4 NWLR (pt. 651) 19.

Put differently, the object of the rules relating to actions on the undefended list is to ensure quick dispatch of certain types of cases, such as those involving debts or liquidated money claims, Bank of the North v Intra Bank SA (1969) 1 All NLR 91; Bendel Construction Co. Ltd, v Anglo Development Co. (Nigeria) Ltd[1972] All NLR (ptl) 153; Olubusola v StandardBank(1975) 1 All NLR (pt. l) 125; N. M. C. B. (Nig) Ltd v Obi(2010) LPELR -2051 (26) 26, which are, virtually, uncontested, Ataguba and Co v Gura Nig Ltd (2005) LPELR -584 (SC) 16-17; Macaulay v. NAL Merchant Bank Ltd. (1990) 4 NWLR (Pt. 144) 283 at 324-325; Nwankwo and Anor v EDCS UA (2007) LRELR -2AQS (SC) 46,Bank of the North v Intra Bank S.A. (1969) 1 All NLR 91; Ataguba & Co. v. Gura (Nig.) Ltd. [2005] 8 NWLR (pt. 927) 429; [2005] 2 SCNJ, 139,157; [2005] 2 S.C (Pt. l) 101;Such rules are, thus, designed to relieve the courts of the rigour of pleadings and burden of hearing tedious evidence on sham defences mounted by defendants who are just determined to dribble and cheat plaintiffs out of reliefs they are normally entitled to because the case is, patently, clear and unassailable, Cow v. Casey (1-949) 1 K.B. 482; Sodipo v. Leminkainen and Ors [1986] NWLR (pt.15) 220; UBA and Anor v Jargaba (2007) LPELR -3399 (SC) 24;   Obaro  v   Hassan   (2013)   LPELR -20089 (SC); Planwell Ltd v Ogala [2003] 18 NWLR (pt. 852) 478; [2003] 12 SCNJ 58, 68. In such a case/it would be inexpedient to allow a defendant to defend for the mere purpose of delay, Sodipo v Leminkainen [1986] 1 NWLR (pt.15) 220; Adebisi Macgregor Ass. Ltd v N. M.B. Ltd [1996] 2 NWLR (pt.43) 378; [1996] 2 SCNJ 72, 81.See, also, C. C. Nweze, Law and Procedure in Suits on the Undefended List (Enugu: Hamson Publishers, 1998) 45."

 

 PER C.C. NWEZE, J.S.C IN THE CASE OF AKAHALL & SONS LIMITED V NIGERIAN DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (RECEIVER/LIQUIDATOR OF ALLIED BANK OF NIGERIA PLC)(2017): SC. 302/2006


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