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Regd. Trustees, P.C.N v. Regd. Trustees, A.U.D.N.

THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF PEOPLES CLUB OF NIGERIA

V

  1. THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF ANSAR-UDEEN OF NIGERIA
  2. THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF LAGOS STATE
  3. THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF EDO STATE
  4. THE REGISTRAR OF TITLES, LAGOS STATE

COURT OF APPEAL

( LAGOS DIVISION )

IBRAHIM M. M. SAULAWA JCA (Presided and Read the Lead Ruling)

JOHN INYANG OKORO JCA

RITA NOSAKHARE PEMU JCA

CA/L/711M/2010

FRIDAY, 15 JUNE 2012

APPEAL - ‘Stay’ - What denotes - Stay of proceedings - Order for When arises - Grant of - Purport of - Trial and appellate court Power of to grant - Application for - Where refuses by trial court -  Further application to appellate court - Propriety of - High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2004, Order 54, rule 1 considered

APPEAL - Court of Appeal - Application in - How must be commenced -  Mandatory contents of - Court of Appeal Rules, 2011, Order 7 , rule 1 considered

APPEAL - Federal or State High Court - Decision of - Appeal from to the Court of appeal - When lies as of right - Right of appeal Where does not exists - Leave for appeal - When must be sought -  Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, section 241(1)  and (2) considered

COURT - Court of Appeal - Application in - How must be commenced -  Mandatory contents of - Court of Appeal Rules, 2011, Order 7 , rule 1 considered

COURT - Federal or State High Court - Decision of - Appeal from to the Court of appeal - When lies as of right - Right of appeal Where does not exist - Leave for appeal - When must be sought -  Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, section 241(1)  and (2) considered

FAIR HEARING - Constitutionality of - How related to concept  of rule of law - Basis of - Nature of - Applicability of - Breach of - Effect of - Appellate court - Attitude of thereto - 1999 Constitution (as amended), section 36(1) considered

INJUNCTION - Interim order - Nature of - Grant of - Discretionary powers of court - Exercise of - Proper approach of  thereto Grant of in respect of a completed act - Impropriety of

INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES - Specific provision - Overriding effect of on general provisions

JURISDICTION - Duty on court to guard jealously - Unenforceable order - Reckless grant of in pursuance of - Impropriety of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Interlocutory proceedings - Substantive issue - Determination of at interlocutory stage Impropriety of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Material processes - Service - Court -  Duty on to ensure - Failure to serve - Effect of - Affidavit of service - Purport of

STATUTE - Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), section 36(1) - Constitutionality of - How related to concept of rule of law - Basis of - Nature of - Applicability of Breach of - Effect of - Appellate court - Attitude of thereto

STATUTE - Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 , section 241(1) and (2) - Federal or State High Court - Decision of - Appeal from to the Court of Appeal - When lies as of right Right of appeal - Where does not exist - Leave for appeal - When must be sought

STATUTE - Court of Appeal Rules, 2011, Order 7, rule 1 - Court of Appeal - Application in - How must be commenced - Mandatory contents of

STATUTE - High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2004, Order 54, rule 1 - ‘Stay’- What denotes - Stay of proceedings Order for - When arises - Grant of - Purport of -  Trial and appellate court - Power of to grant - Application for - Where refuses by trial court - Further application to appellate court - Propriety of \

Issue:

Whether the application for stay of proceedings by the plaintiff was competent to be granted.

Facts:

The plaintiff commenced an action in the High Court of Lagos State, claiming various declaratory and injunctive relief against the defendant. During the trial, the plaintiff sought adjournment on grounds of absence of its lead counsel and witness. The defendants opposed the application. The trial court granted the application with costs in favour of the defendants. Aggrieved, the plaintiff appealed to the Court of Appeal. Subsequent upon the application of the 1st defendant for dismissal of the appeal for want of diligent prosecution, the plaintiff filed an application for enlargement of time within which to compile and transmit the record of appeal. It also filed the present application for stay of proceedings in the trial court pending the determination of the appeal.

In determination of the appeal, the Court of Appeal considered the following statute:

Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, section 36(1) -

“36(1) In the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including any question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality.”