By AREKHANDIA, Zebedee

Abstract

The Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009 regulate fundamental rights enforcement suit in Nigeria. The Rules have largely been considered as a positive revolution in the enforcement of fundamental rights in Nigeria due to their radical departure from the erstwhile Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 1979, particularly with regards to the use of technicalities to defeat applications for fundamental rights enforcement suits. However, since inception of the 2009 Rules one area that has caused lingering controversies in High Courts in Nigeria is whether processes filed out of time under the Rules, such as preliminary objection, counter affidavit, and further affidavit, are void without regularization by way of application for extension of time to file such processes. While some courts have treated such processes filed out of time as mere irregularity which does not affects the validity of the processes, others have insisted that for such processes to be valid they must be regularized via application for extension of time. This paper critically examines the position of the law in Nigeria as contained in judicial decisions on the validity or otherwise of processes filed out of time in fundamental rights enforcement suits. This paper finds that processes in fundamental rights enforcement suits such as preliminary objections, counter affidavits, and further affidavits filed out of time are valid without the need for regularization through applications for extension of time.

Keywords: Fundamental rights enforcement suit, processes, preliminary objection, counter affidavit, further affidavit, extension of time, Fundamental rights enforcement procedure rules, trial Courts, Appellate Courts

*DSW, LLB, (BENIN); LL,M (IBADAN); BL. Legal Officer, Legal Section, Nigeria Police Force, Zone 2 Police Command Headquarters, Lagos, Nigeria. Email: ekpiku@yahoo.com: Tel:+2348030699275

  1. Introduction

Fundamental rights are a group of rights that are accorded a high degree of protection against infringement. These rights are specifically identified in a constitution, or have been found under due process of law.[1] In Colonel SS Ibrahim Ibrahim v. Nigeria Army[2], the Court of Appeal adopted the learned authors of Black’s Law Dictionary definition as; “1. A right derived from natural or fundamental law. 2. Constitutional law. A significant component of liberty, encroachment of which are rigorously tested by Courts to ascertain the soundness of purported governmental justification”[3]. Flowing from the above definition, it is safe to say here that fundamental rights are the highest categories of rights which the Constitution of Nigeria bestows on each and every person in the country.

The fundamental rights of persons cannot be curtailed or restricted for any reason whatsoever, except in accordance with the law. It is on this solid ground that persons in Nigeria whose rights are violated or threatened are empowered under section 46 (1) of the Constitution[4] to seek redress in the High Court[5] for violation of their rights or to seek protection against violation of their rights through the fundamental rights enforcement suit. Due to the unique nature of fundamental rights enforcement suit, and the importance and preference accorded to it, the Nigerian Constitution in section 46(3) specifically provides that the Chief Justice of Nigeria may make rules for purposes of enforcement of fundamental rights by persons affected.

The Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, 2009 (the 2009 Rules) is a product of section 46(3) of the Constitution. Fundamental rights enforcement suit is now well-established as sui generis suit in Nigeria – a suit that is unique in nature and of its own kind[6], hence its procedure is different and must be treated by the court differently from every other suit. In Asuquo v. Sector Commander FRSC[7] the Court of Appeal held that the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure is sui generis and any claim touching on violation of rights to personal liberty guaranteed by the Constitution is usually made pursuant to it, and the applicable rules that govern or regulate the action is the 2009 Rules. This paper examines how the courts have interpreted the legal consequences of the Rules with specific reference to the validity of processes filed out of time in the course of a fundamental right enforcement suit.

  1. Commencement of Action and Filing of Response under the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, 2009

Order 11 of the 2009 Rules provides for commencement of fundamental rights enforcement suit by a person whose rights were violated or threatened (the Applicant), and the suit is to be commenced by any originating process accepted by the court[8]. The suit must be supported by a statement by the Applicant[9], the Applicant’s supporting affidavit[10], and a written address[11]. The provisions of Order 11, Rules 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the 2009 Rules stipulate the procedure for the commencement of action by the Applicant, and the procedure must be strictly followed by the Applicant as non-compliance with the stipulated mode of commencement will render the suit void[12].

It is germane to state here that the issue of extension of time to file out of time which is the subject matter of this paper does not apply to the commencement of fundamental rights enforcement suit by the Applicant. This is because commencement of rights enforcement suit has no limitation of time by virtue of Order 111, Rule 1 of the 2009 Rules. The issue of extension of time to file out of time only relates to process filed by the Respondent in response to the Applicant’s suit, and a further process filed by the Applicant in response to the Respondent’s process. This issue of extension of time to file out of time seems to arise from the provisions of Order 11, Rules 6 and 7 of the 2009 Rules which provide thus:

Order 11, Rule 6: Where the respondent intends to oppose the application, he shall file his written address within 5 days of the service on him of such application and may accompany it with a counter affidavit.

Order 11, Rule 7: The applicant may on being served with the Respondent’s Written Address, file and serve an address on point of law within 5 days of being served, and may accompany it with a further affidavit

In addition, by virtue of Order VIII of the 2009 Rules the Respondent may file notice of preliminary objection to the Applicant’s suit and it must be filed together with the counter affidavit to the main application, and this make the 5 days period of filing response by the Respondent applicable to the notice of preliminary objection that may be filed. It follows from the foregoing that a Respondent who wants to oppose the Applicant’s rights enforcement suit must file a counter affidavit and written address within 5 days from the date of service of the Applicant’s originating application. And the Applicant who wants to file a response to the Respondent’s counter affidavit and written address must file a further affidavit and written address on point of law within 5 day from the date of service of the Respondent’s counter affidavit and written address. The consequences of a Respondent filing a counter affidavit and written address outside the 5 days permitted by Rules, or an Applicant filing a further affidavit and written address on point of law outside the 5 days permitted by the Rules is our next discourse.

  1. Legal consequences of Non-Compliance with Order II, Rules 6 and 7 of the 2009 Rules

The 2009 Rules provide that a Respondent who wants to oppose the Applicant’s rights enforcement suit must file a counter affidavit and address within 5 days from date of service of the Applicant’s application, and an Applicant who wants to file response to the Respondent’s counter affidavit and written address shall file a further affidavit and written address on point of law within 5 day from the date of service of the Respondent’s counter affidavit and written address. The operative word used in Order II, Rules 6 and 7 of the 2009 Rules is “shall”, which can ordinarily be interpreted to mean that it is mandatory for the Respondent to file a counter affidavit and written address within 5 day, and the Applicant to file a further affidavit and address on point of law within 5 days. But these provisions of the Rules have been soften by the provisions of Order IX, Rule 1 of the 2009 Rules which are to the effect that non-filing of the counter affidavit and written address and further affidavit and address on point of law within 5 days by the Respondent and Applicant respectively, is a mere irregularity which does not affect the validity of the processes during hearing of the suit.

Order IX, Rule 1 of the 2009 Rules provides that anything done or left undone, been failure to comply with the requirement as to time, place or manner or form, such failure shall be treated as an irregularity and may not nullify such proceedings. The combined provisions of Order II, Rules 6 and 7, and Order IX, Rule 1 of the 2009 Rules have been interpreted by the Court of Appeal in a plethora of cases to the effect that application by parties for extension of time to file counter affidavit and written address or further affidavit and address on point of law out of time is not applicable to fundamental rights enforcement suit. The courts have further held that recourse to its Civil Procedure Rules by the trial court pursuant to Order XV, Rule 4 of the 2009 Rules is not applicable to a process file out time because there is no lacuna as to what the trial court should do when a process is file out of time; Order IX, Rule 1 expressly provides that it should be treated as a mere irregularity. A consideration of three cases decided by the Nigerian Court of Appeal on this point of law would suffice.

The first case, to the knowledge of this writer, which decided that application for extension of time is not need to validate a process filed out time in fundamental rights enforcement suit is the case of Nigeria Custom Service Board v. Mohammed.[13] In this case the Respondent, as plaintiff, commenced the action in the High Court of Kaduna State against the Appellant, as defendant, under the 2009 Rules. The motion was supported by an affidavit with exhibits attached, a statement and a written address. The Appellant responded by filing a notice of preliminary objection as well as a counter affidavit, both dated the 20th of February, 2012, and filed same date and they were accompanied by a written address. The Respondent filed a reply address on points of law dated the 22nd of February, 2012. The High Court took arguments on the application on the 23rd of February, 2012 and it found in favour of the Respondent in a considered judgment delivered on the 26th of March, 2012.

In the judgment, the High Court struck out the processes filed by the Appellant as being incompetent on the ground they were filed outside the five days allowed under Order II Rule 6 of the 2009 Rules. The court thereafter treated the case of the Respondent as unchallenged, and it believed the facts as narrated by the Respondent in the affidavit in support and held that while the facts established a breach of the Respondent’s right to human dignity, they did not establish a breach of his right of movement. The sum of N500,000.00 was awarded as compensation to the Respondent for the breach of his right to human dignity. The Appellant was dissatisfied and thus appealed to the Court of Appeal. One of the issues raised by the Appellant and considered by the court in deciding the appeal was whether the counter affidavit, address and preliminary objection filed out of time by the Appellant at the trial court were incompetent. The Court of Appeal in a unanimous decision held that the counter affidavit, address and preliminary objection filed out of time by the Appellant at the trial court were not incompetent because filing out of time is a mere irregularity which does not affect the process. The court therefore held that the trial court was wrong to have struck out the Appellant’s processes as incompetent in the following words:

In other words, by the provisions of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009, a Court is enjoined to treat failure to file a process within the time allowed by the Rules as an irregularity, and not as a nullifying factor, except it relates to the commencement of the application, or that the subject matter is not within Chapter 4 of the Constitution. The processes filed by the Appellant, i.e. the written address, the counter affidavit and the notice of preliminary objection, did not relate to the mode of commencement of the application, nor did they relate to a subject matter that is not within Chapter 4 of the Constitution. The lower Court made no reference to the provisions of Order 9 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009. It is always essential for a Court faced with the interpretation of the provisions of a statute to adopt a holistic approach and to interpret the provisions dealing with a subject matter together to get the true intention of the law makers – Abia State University, Uturu vs Otosi (2011) 1 NWLR (Pt.1229) 605, Ayodele vs State (2011) 6 NWLR (Pt.1243) 309 and National Union of Road Transport Workers Vs Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (2012) 10 NWLR (Pt.1307) 170. Perhaps, if the lower Court had considered the provisions of Order 9 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009, it would not have declared the processes filed by the Appellant incompetent. This is particularly more so as the records of proceedings show that the Appellant was not guilty of inexcusable delay.

The second case is the case of Ukpai v. Omoregie & Ors.[14] In this case, the Appellant/Cross-Respondent, a car dealer, alleged that he was arrested by the 2nd – 4th Respondents/Cross-Appellants because of the instigation made to them by the 1st Respondent that he stole her RAV-4 car. The allegation that led to the arrest of the Appellant/Cross-Respondent was premised on the allegation that the 1st Respondent saw her stolen car in the custody of the Appellant/Cross-Respondent. The Appellant/Cross Respondent was thereafter arrested and taken to the State Criminal Investigation Department where it was revealed in a subsequent investigation that a difference existed in the Chassis and Engine Number of the RAV-4 car found in the custody of the Appellant/Cross-Respondent who was a car dealer and that of the car of the 1st Respondent which was alleged to have been stolen by the Appellant/Cross-Respondent. Consequently, the Police discharged the Appellant/Cross-Respondent and dismissed the allegation against him.

​Thereafter, the Appellant/Cross-Respondent alleged that he suffered injury to his reputation which affected his business fortunes and exalted positions he held in the society. The Appellant/Cross-Respondent then filed an application for the enforcement of his fundamental right at the Federal High Court claiming some declaratory reliefs. The learned Trial Judge found in favour of the Appellant/Cross-Respondent against only the 2nd – 5th Respondents at trial and ordered that the sum of Three Hundred Thousand Naira (N300,000.00) be paid to him as damages by the said 2nd – 5th Respondents at trial. Dissatisfied with the judgment, specifically the quantum of damages, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal. The 2nd – 5th Respondents also filed a Notice of Cross-Appeal wherein complaints were articulated against the merit of the judgment of the learned trial judge in its entirety. One of the issues consider by the Appeal Court in the case is whether by the provisions of the 2009 Rules, the Court can treat failure to file a process within the time allowed by the Rules as an irregularity. The Appeal Court followed with approval the case of Nigeria Custom Service Board v. Mohammed (supra) and held thus:

The further affidavit filed by the Appellant/Cross Respondent cannot be said to be incompetent. This is because the process complained of (in this case the further affidavit) does not relate to the mode of commencing the application or the subject matter is not within the ambit of the provisions of Chapter Four of the Constitution or the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act. Competency goes to the admissibility of a document. Thus, having shown that the said affidavit is not incompetent, the argument of the Cross Appellant/2nd – 5th Respondents’ Counsel cannot hold water.

In the third case, Anoliefo v. Anoliefo & Ors[15], the appellant and 1st respondent were husband and wife. They had matrimonial dispute which culminated in a petition for a decree of dissolution of their marriage and an order for custody of the children of the marriage. The petition was filed by the appellant at the High Court of Enugu State. Cohabitation had ceased between the parties and the children of the marriage were with the 1st respondent. The petition was still pending in court when the 1st respondent wrote a petition to the 5th respondent wherein she alleged threat to her life and attempt to kidnap the children of the marriage by the appellant. Based on that petition, the appellant was arrested and detained in the office of the 2nd – 5th respondents. The appellant caused his Counsel to write two letters to the 2nd respondent to complain about his arrest and detention but without receiving any reply.

Consequently, the Appellant filed a motion on notice at the Federal High Court Anambra State pursuant to Section 46(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Order II Rules 1 – 5 of the 2009 Rules. Parties filed and exchanged all necessary processes. After hearing all the parties, the trial court held that the appellant failed to make out a case for the enforcement of his fundamental right and dismissed the application. Dissatisfied, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal. One of the issues considered by the Appeal Court was whether non-compliance with the provisions of Order 26 Rules 3 and 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2009 renders the counter affidavit of the 2nd – 5th respondents filed out of time incompetent. The Appeal Court held thus:

In the instant case, the suit culminating in this appeal is a fundamental right enforcement proceeding. It is a special proceeding governed by its own procedural rules which is Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009. Order II Rule 6 thereof provides that: ”Where the respondent intends to oppose the application, he shall file his written address within 5 days of the service on him of such application and may accompany it with a counter affidavit.” However Order IX Rule 1 provides that: 1.”Where at any stage in the course of or in connection with any proceedings there has, by any reason of anything done or left undone, been failure to comply with the requirement as to time, place or manner or form, the failure shall be treated as an irregularity and may not nullify such proceedings except as they relate to – (i) Mode of commencement of the application. (ii) The subject matter is not Chapter IV of the Constitution or African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.” It is clear from the unambiguous words used in Oder IX Rule 1 of the Fundamental Right (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009 that non-compliance with the rule which prescribed the period for filing a counter affidavit by the respondent shall be treated as an irregularity by the Court. The Court even has no discretion in the matter as the word “shall” which denotes a command to the Court is used in that order. The Court below was right to invoke the provisions of Order IX Rule 1(Supra) in this situation. The provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2009 which provides for payment of penalty for late filing of Court processes cannot be imported into fundamental right enforcement proceedings. See OPARAOCHA & ANOR. V. OBICHERE & ORS. (2016) LPELR – 40615 (CA) AT 59 (B – F). ADUMU V. CONTROLLER OF PRISONS, FEDERAL PRISONS, ABA & ORS. (2013) LPELR – 22069 (CA) AT 38 – 39 (E – A).

A careful look at the three cases considered above reveals that the three appellate courts followed the same path as they were unanimous in their decisions that application of extension of time is not required to validate counter affidavit/written address or further affidavit/address on point of law filed out time.

  1. Implications of the Court of Appeal Decisions on Fundamental Rights Enforcement Suits

The implication of the Court of Appeal decisions in the above three cases on the validity of processes filed out of time in fundamental rights enforcement action is that such processes do not require application for extension of time in order to be valid and reliable. By virtue of Order IX, Rule 1 of the 2009 Rules, non-compliance with the 5 days period to file any responses as stipulated in Order II, Rules 6 and 7 is a mere irregularity which should be treated as such by trial courts deciding fundamental rights enforcement suits. Unfortunately, however, most trial courts of fundamental rights enforcement suit appear to be oblivious of the Court of Appeal decisions in the above three cases, as they still insist that parties that filed their processes out of time must regularize the process by way of application for extension of time before they can rely on such processes during hearing of the case.

Surprisingly, there have been some instances when these Court of Appeal decisions were brought to the attention of some trial courts, with prayers that they treat processes filed out of time as a mere irregularity. But those trial courts stood their ground and adjourned the cases for the “defaulting party” to regularize the processes, and thereby causing further delay in hearing a fundamental right enforcement suit that ought to have been given expeditious hearing. It is submitted that any trial court that is aware of any of the Court of Appeal decisions in Nigeria Custom Service Board v. Mohammed, Ukpai v. Omoregie, and Anoliefo v. Anoliefo & Ors should follow the decisions as a matter of duty to the rule of law. This is because by virtue of the well-established principle of stare decisis (judicial precedent) in Nigerian legal jurisprudence, it is mandatory for a trial court to follow the decision of higher courts in similar case as it ensures certainty of the law. According to the Nigerian Supreme Court in Mailantarki v. Tango & Ors[16],

… it is a policy of Courts to stand by established precedent for the certainty of the law. Agreed, no two cases have identical facts. Where, however, the facts of the decided case are substantially the same with the case at hand, the principle of stare decisis enjoins a Court to follow the earlier judicial decisions when the same points arose again in litigation. It is also a rule of law that ensures certainty in the state of the law and its application.

It would amount to judicial rascality for a trial court whose attention was drawn to the Court of Appeal decisions in Nigeria Custom Service Board v. Mohammed, Ukpai v. Omoregie, or Anoliefo v. Anoliefo & Ors to insist that the “defaulting parties” must regularize the affected processes before they can be relied upon during hearing. It would be worse if such processes are excluded from consideration in the court’s judgment as was done by the trial Court in Nigeria Custom Service Board v. Mohammed’s case.  In the case of Ardo v. Nyako & Ors,[17] the Supreme Court emphasized the importance of the doctrine of judicial precedent and its effects where it is disregarded by lower courts;

To begin with, I wish to state that the principle of judicial precedent or stare decisis is designed to ensure orderliness, certainty and discipline in the judicial process. The principle holds inferior Courts to the Supreme Court of Nigeria bound by the previous decision(s) of the Court on similar facts in the consideration and determination of matters before them. Where the lower Courts are encouraged not to follow the previous decision(s) of this Court on similar facts, such an encouragement is designed to promote anarchy, chaos and judicial rascality which is not the design or purpose of the principles of the Rules of Law. It follows therefore that the lower Courts are bound in law to follow the previous decision(s) of this Court on similar facts to the case under consideration by them.

More importantly, the law is what the court say it is. Put differently, the law is lifeless until the court gives life to it. It is the interpretation of the law by the court that is the law. Since the Court of Appeal has emphatically stated in the case of Nigeria Custom Service Board v. Mohammed, Ukpai v. Omoregie, and Anoliefo v. Anoliefo & Ors that extension of time is not applicable to fundamental rights enforcement suit because the Fundamental Right (Enforcement Procedure) Rules did not contemplated extension of time to file counter affidavit or preliminary objection out of time, the trial High Court must abide with these decisions.

  1. Re-introduction of Payment of Default Fees in fundamental Rights Enforcement Suit

In February, 2021, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Honourable Justice Tosho, cancel the payment of default fees in fundamental rights application.[18] The cancellation was considered as a welcome development by stakeholders in fundamental rights enforcement litigation in Nigeria, most especially as it relates to default fees which was paid in respect of application of extension of time to file out of time. This is because since the Court of Appeal had decided that application for extension of time was not applicable to fundamental rights enforcement suit, the cancellation of payment of default fees made the Federal High Court Judges not to be interested in whether counter affidavit/written address and further affidavit/address on point of law were file out of time when hearing the suit.

But in what seems like policy summersault, a new Practice Direction subsequently published by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court effective on 26th October, 2021 re-introduced the payment of default fees in fundamental rights enforcement suit. There are a lot of commentaries and opinions by legal writers on the validity of the new Practice Direction of monetary claims and default fees in fundamental rights enforcement suit. For instance, Udemezue opines that the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court lacks the vires to make Practice Direction in respect of fundamental right enforcement suit.[19]  In a more serious move against the re-introduction of default fees in fundamental rights enforcement suit, the Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (CHURAC), a human rights group, has instituted a legal action against the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court[20].

While we await the decision of the Court on this important issue, it is germane to state here that the position of law as at today is that counter affidavit/written address and further affidavit/address on point of law filed out of time are valid before the court. This position of the law is clearly contained in the decisions of the Court of Appeal in the cases of Nigeria Custom Service Board v. Mohammed, Ukpai v. Omoregie, and Anoliefo v. Anoliefo & Ors. It follows therefore that the law in this area remains that an application for extension of time is not applicable to fundamental rights enforcement suit, hence the need to pay default fees does not arise. As emphasized by the Court of Appeal in the Anoliefo’s case, the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2009 which provides for payment of penalty for late filing of court processes cannot be imported into fundamental right enforcement proceedings.

  1. Recommendations and Conclusion

The most important factor that should guide the court in the interpretation of statute is the intent of the law maker. Taking this consideration into, every trial High Court should appreciate that Order II of the 2009 Rules which provides for the procedure of commencement of action in fundamental rights enforcement suit was made to simplify the process and ensure expeditious hearing of fundamental rights action. It was for this reason that Order II, Rules 6 and 7 give 5 days as the period within which a Respondent should respond and for an Applicant to file further process (if any) to the Respondent’s response. And Order IV, Rules 1 of the 2009 Rules provides that the application for enforcement of fundamental rights shall be fixed for hearing within 7 days.

Therefore, the reason for making it mandatory for the Respondent to file a counter affidavit/written address within 5 days from the date of service of the Applicant’s suit and same for filing of further affidavit by the Applicant, is to ensure speedy hearing of the case. It was not intended to be a source of revenue generation through payment of default fees by parties that failed to file within the 5 days period allowed by the Rules. To achieve this expeditious hearing of fundamental rights enforcement suit as contemplated by the 2009 Rules, fundamental rights suits should be timely assigned to trial courts by the Administrative Judge, and the suit fixed for hearing within a reasonable time even though the 7 days stated in the Rules cannot be adhered to due to bulk of cases before the courts. If fundamental rights enforcement cases are timely fixed for hearing, the Respondent will be left with no option than to file a response timely because failure to do that will mean that the case will go to hearing after hearing notice is served with evidence of such service before the Court.

This is the best way to ensure the realization of the true intent of Order II, Rules 6 and 7 of the 2009 Rules. Experience has shown that default fees have not compel parties to timeously file responses in fundamental rights enforcement suits. The only objective payment of default fees has achieved is revenue generation for the court. Now that the Court of Appeal has stated it in a loud and clear voice that extension of time is not applicable to fundamental rights enforcement suit, it is time for trial courts to hear and abide until the Supreme Court states otherwise. Until then, the law in Nigeria is that extension of time is not applicable to fundamental rights enforcement suit.

[1] Fundamental rights-Wikipedia accessed at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_rights on 18/11/2021.

[2] (2015) LPELR (CA), Pp. 42-43, Paras F, per Joseph Tine Tur, JCA.

[3] 9th edition, at page 744

[4] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

[5] Federal High Court and High Court of the State.

[6] Bryan A. Garner, Black’s Law Dictionary (8th edition), p. 1475

[7] (2019) LPELR-46846 (CA), P. 10, Para A, per Shuaibu, JCA.

[8] Order 11, Rule 2 of Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.

[9] Order 11, Rule 3 ibid.

[10] Order 11, Rule 4 ibid.

[11] Order 11, Rule 5.

[12] See Order IX, Rule (i) & (ii) of Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.

[13] (2015) LPELR-25938 (CA), Pp. 12-15, para. C, Per ABIRU, J.C.A at the Kaduna Division of the Court of Appeal.

[14] (2019) LPELR-47206 (CA), Pp. 15-20, paras. D-F Per OGUNWUMIJU, J.C.A at the Benin Division.

[15] (2019) LPELR-47247(CA), Pp. Pp. 8-12, paras. E-C, Per BOLAJI-YUSUFF, J.C.A at Enugu Division

[16] (2017) LPELR-42467 (SC), Pp. 17-18, paras. D-A, the Court per EKO, JSC

[17] (2014) LPELR-22878 (SC), Pp. 43-44 paras. C, Per ONNOGHEN ,J.S.C. See also the case Unilag V. Olaniyan (1985) LPELR-3419 (SC), p. 26, paras C, per ESO, JSC

[18] This was published by thenigerialawyer.com at https://thenigerialawyer.com/fhc-cj-hon-justice-tosho-cancels-charges-on-monetary-claims-and-defaults-fees-in-fundamental-rights-application/

[19] Legal Validity of the FHC Practice Direction Introducing Payment of Default Fees in Fundamental Rights Enforcement Matters accessed at https://thenigerialawyer.com/legal-validity-of-the-fhc-practice-direction-introducing-payment-of-default-fees-in-fundamental-rights-enforcement-matters/

[20] In Suit No. FHC/WR/CS/116/2021, Federal High Court, Warri, Delta State Division; See also thenigerialawyer.com at https:/thenigerialawyer.com/group-sues-fhc-chief-judge-over-reintroduction-of-defualt-filing-fees-frep-actions/

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