The intervener/applicant filed a motion on notice on 13/ 11/ 17 seeking an order of this court granting leave to the Applicant to be heard in these proceedings concerning the question Whether the Plaintiffs/ Respondents’ Amended Originating summons dated 27th April, 2017 and questions which they submit for determination, ought to be heard by the Court in its original jurisdiction.
On 20th of July, 2018, this court gave a ruling and held that it has original jurisdiction to entertain the Plaintiffs’ claim. Thus, the intervener/applicant’s motion has been overtaken by events.
For the avoidance of doubt, section 232 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1.999 (as amended) states:
“232 (1} The Supreme Court shall, to the exclusion of any other court, have original jurisdiction in any dispute between the Federation and a State or between States if and in so far as that dispute involves any question (whether of law or fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends. ”
From the above provision the Intervener/ applicant herein is not one of the parties which can invoke the original jurisdiction of this court. This application by the Intervener/ applicant is frivolous and makes the applicant a busybody in a matter which does not involve her. Lagos Chamber of Commerce is neither the Federation of Nigeria nor a State of the Federation. What I am saying in a nutshell is that the applicant has no locus standi to ventilate the issues he tries to canvass in this court. Accordingly, this application lacks merit and is hereby dismissed, being an abuse of court process.
As I stated earlier, this court held clearly that it has jurisdiction to hear this matter, thus exercising its original jurisdiction. It is also on record that the plaintiffs and the Defendant filed terms of settlement in this court on 6th April 2018. The parties had urged this court to make the terms of settlement the judgment of this court. That order had to be delayed pending the determination of the intervener’s motion on notice.
Having held that the Intervener’s application is frivolous and unmeritorious, the coast is now clear to conclude on the prayers of the Plaintiffs and Respondents concerning the terms of settlement.
I recall also that in my Ruling of 20th July, 2018, I held that this court, in exercise of its original jurisdiction can order that the terms of settlement by parties be made the judgement of this court. Accordingly, I hereby order that the terms of settlement entered into and duly signed by both the Plaintiffs and Defendant and their counsel be and is hereby made the judgement of this court in respect of the dispute between the parties to this suit. The said terms of settlement shall be and remain the judgment of this court.
The Intervener/applicant shall pay costs of N2 million naira to each set of Respondents to its application which shall be borne personally by counsel to the intervener/applicant.
John Inyang, Justice, Supreme Court
1 Lucius E. Nwosu SAN (Lead Counsel), R. A. Rabana SAN, with Kemasuode Wodu Esq (Hon. Attorney Genaral and, Commissioner for Justice, Bayelsa State), Uwemedimo NWoko Esq, (Hon. Attorney General and Commissioner of justice Akwa Ibom State) and Florence Feberisma (Solicitor General of Rivers State) for the Plaintiffs
E. 0. Omonowa Esq, (Director of Civil Litigation, Federal Ministry of Justice) with T. A. Gazali (Chief State Counsel), Yewande Awopetu (Chief State Counsel), Oyin Koleosho (Senior State Counsel) and O. A. Oloruntogbe (Senior State Counsel) for defendant.
Babatunde Fagbohunlu, SAN with Hamid-Abdulkareem Esq, Bimbo Atilola and Great Nnamani Esq for Intervener/Applicant.
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A Report Of The Judgement Of The 16 Divisions Of The Court Of Appeal In Nigeria