Having regard to the clear state of law therefore, the court below was in error when in the same judgment ordering the rehearing of the appeal afresh to resolve the omnibus ground of appeal between the parties by the High Court, it proceeded again to determine the merit of the dispute, which in my view, must be set aside by this court in order to give the parties and the High Court level playing ground to face the rehearing of the appeal denovo.

4. Impropriety of filing appeal from High Court to Supreme Court –

An appeal does not lie directly from the High Court to the Supreme Court. [P. 621, paras. C – D]

5. Constitutionality of right to fair hearing, what connotes, attributes of, impossibility of waiver of and effect of breach of proceedings, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, section 36 considered –

By the provisions of section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the right to fair hearing is enshrined. It is a very essential right for a person to secure justice. A fair hearing connotes or involves a fair trial and a fair trial of a case consists of the whole hearing.

This right cannot be waived or statutorily taken away. It entails that in the determination of his civil rights and obligations, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.

The basic attributes of fair hearing include:  That the court shall hear both sides not only in the case but also on all material issues in the case before reaching a decision which may be prejudicial to any party in the case.

That the court or tribunal gives equal treatment, opportunity and consideration to all concerned (c) That all concerned shall be informed of having an access to such place of public hearing.

That having to all the circumstances in every material decision in the case, justice must not only be done but must manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to have been done.

Where the person alleging breach of fair hearing has been established, it follows that a breach of fair hearing in trial vitiates such proceedings rendering same null and void. [Usani v. Duke (2004) 7 NWLR (Pt. 871) 116, (2005) All FWLR (Pt. 244) 960; Fagbule v. Rodrigues

6.Mandatory contents of a judgment and right of Judge to own style of writing of –

Every judgment has to state the facts of the case, state the points at issue requiring the court to pronounce on them, then, the court’s decision with the reasons for the same. Every Judge reserved the right as to his own style of writing judgments whether sitting at the trial or appellate level of the courts.

In the instant case, the judgment of the Court of Appeal which allowed an appeal, yet, an order of rehearing was made in it, was not exhaustive, as a judgment ought to be. [Pp. 611 – 612, paras. H – B]

7. Duty on court to pronounce on all issues before it and resultant effect of failure to –

It is court’s duty to pronounce on every issue properly placed before it for consideration and determination before arriving at a decision and where it has failed to do so, it leads to a miscarriage of justice. In the instant case, the appellate high court erred by failing to consider all the issues before it.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.