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Yisa vs. Ojo Local Government

ALHAJI AFISU YISA

V

OJO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

SAMSON AROWOLO

HIGH COURT OF LAGOS STATE

( BADAGRY DIVISION )

ABIRU, J.

SUIT NO: ID/3214/95

THURSDAY, 4TH DECEMBER, 2003

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Administrative body - Exercise of discretion by -  Guiding principle - Whether court can interfere therewith

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Administrative duty and quasi-judicial duty Instances of

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Administrative power by public authority Procedure for seeking court’s intervention in the exercise of - High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules 1994, Order 43

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Elements of

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Ministerial duty - Meaning of

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Public authorities - Classification of - Functions of

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Public authority - Discretion of - Whether court can compel to exercise in a particular manner

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Statutory administrative power - Exercise of When court may interfere with

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - Constitutional government - Two fundamental concepts of - Concept of rule of law and separation of powers

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - Separation of powers and rule of law explained

COURT - Declaratory orders - When the court will grant

COURT - Public authority - Discretion of - Whether court can compel to exercise in a particular manner

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Declaratory orders - When the court will grant

JURISDICTION - Issue of - Importance of

JURISDICTION - Order or judgment made without jurisdiction - Whether court can set aside  - Whether issue of jurisdiction can be raised at anytime

JURISPRUDENCE - Justiciable - Meaning of

JUSTICE - Justiciable - Meaning of

LOCAL GOVERNMENT - Status of - Functions of

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Justiciable’ - Meaning of WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Ministerial duty’ - Meaning of

Issues:

1.              Whether court can intervene in the performance of administrative duty by an administrative body.

2.              Whether court can compel the Ojo Local Government to approve the naming of a close within Akinwunmi family layout at Iba as Alhaji Yisa as applied for vide receipt No. 88198 of 4 th March  1992.

Facts:

Plaintiff in this suit claimed as follows:

(i)             an order compelling the first defendant to approve the naming of a close within Akinwunmi family layout at Iba as Alhaji

Yisa Close as applied for vide receipt No. 88198 of 4th March, 1992 ;

(ii)           an order of injunction restraining the defendants from approving the name of the close to any other person other than the plaintiff.

The first defendant did not file any response to the claims of the plaintiff. The second defendant filed a statement of defence and counterclaim dated the 20th of June, 2003. By the counter-claim, the second defendant prays for(i) a declaration that by virtue of the letter with reference No. OLG/070/Vol. VIII/91 dated 2nd of June, 1992 titled “Letter of Approval” issued by the first defendant to the second defendant and by which approval was given to the naming of the disputed road as Samson Arowolo Close, the road which is the subject-matter of this suit had been validly, legally and properly approved by the first defendant in the name of the second defendant since 2nd of June, 1992; (ii) an order of perpetual injunction restraining the plaintiff from further embarking on actions or further actions to rename Samson Arowolo Close which was validly approved by the first defendant after the second defendant; (iii) an order of perpetual injunction restraining the first defendant from re-naming Samson Arowolo Close as Alhaji Yisa Close or after any other name except second defendant’s.

When this suit came up at the trial court on the 9th of September, 2003, the court raised suo motu the issue of whether the causes of action as formulated by the parties in the suit are justiciable against the first defendant in the circumstances of this case and invited the parties to address it on the issue. The parties sought for an adjournment to so address the court and the suit was adjourned to the 29th of October, 2003 when both parties addressed the court.