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The following circumstances give rise for applications for stay of proceedings.
1. The usual cases of applications for stay of proceedings arise where a party who has appealed against an interlocutory ruling seeks a stay of proceedings in the matter before the court, pending the outcome of the appeal on the interlocutory decision - See Kigo (Nig.) Ltd. v. Holman Bros. (Nig.) Ltd. (1980) 5-7 S.C. 60 at 61, Jadesimi v. Okotie-Eboh (1986) 1 N.W.L.R. (Pt.16) 264. In re G. M. Boyo (1970) 1 All N.L.R. 111.
2. The application is also made after final judgment, when the defendant or plaintiff against whom judgment was given having appealed against the judgment seeks to stay proceedings in respect of execution pending the determination of the appeal. This second category is generally referred to as a stay of execution, or injunction or stay of proceedings. The effect is generally the same, namely to suspend any proceedings in relation to the matter - See Sodeinde v. Trustees of Ahmaddiyya Movement-In-Islam (1980) 1-2 S.C. 163, Okafor v. Nnaife (1987) 4 N.W.L.R. (Pt.64) 129.
3. There are the other cases, where a Plaintiff after commencing an action against the defendant and during its pendency proceeds to initiate another action against the same defendant whether in this country or abroad, in respect of the same or substantially similar subject-matter. The defendant is entitled in such a circumstance to apply for a stay of proceedings in the latter action. See Okorodudu v. Okoromadu (1977) 3 S.C. 21. The Royal Bank of Scotland v. Citrusdal Investments Ltd. (1971) 3 ALL E.R. 558.
4. The application for stay of proceedings also lies where a defendant to an action after the commencement of proceedings brings action against the plaintiff in respect of the same or substantially similar subject matter. See Thomson v. South Eastern Railway Co. (1881-2) 9 Q.B.D. 320.
The fundamental basis being the preservation of the res, it is essential that the subject-matter for determination in the pending appeal should either be the same or so substantially similar that the determination of the appeal will resolve the issue in the action being stayed. - Adolphus Godwin Karibi-whyte, J.S.C. Col. Halilu Akilu v. Chief Gani Fawehinmi (No.2) (1989)
The question of a civil proceeding crystallising into a criminal proceeding is not only novel but foreign to our jurisprudence and administration of justice. It is true that where a mandamus proceeding succeeds the repository of the statutory duty may initiate criminal proceedings. This is not the mandamus proceedings itself crystallising into a criminal proceeding. - Adolphus Godwin Karibi-whyte, J.S.C. Col. Halilu Akilu v. Chief Gani Fawehinmi (No.2) (1989)
The question which ought to be answered by the applicant for the stay of proceedings is whether on the facts there is a cross-action between the parties on which considerations of the stay of proceedings can be founded. - Adolphus Godwin Karibi-whyte, J.S.C. Col. Halilu Akilu v. Chief Gani Fawehinmi (No.2) (1989)
I think it goes without saying that a Plaintiff whose statement of claim discloses a cause of action should be allowed to have his cases tried, unless it can be shown that his conduct in bringing the action is clearly, frivolous, vexatious or otherwise an abuse of the process of the court. - Adolphus Godwin Karibi-whyte, J.S.C. Col. Halilu Akilu v. Chief Gani Fawehinmi (No.2) (1989)
This court will regard as vexatious an action brought by a defendant against the plaintiff in respect of the same subject-matter in the same action in which he is the defendant. - Adolphus Godwin Karibi-whyte, J.S.C. Col. Halilu Akilu v. Chief Gani Fawehinmi (No.2) (1989)
Parity of treatment in the administration of justice demands the maintenance of a complete balance in the scale of justice. I do not think that even on grounds of equity it is either wrong or odd to stay criminal proceedings where a prosecutor is exercising a right which is challenged. Unless and until the right to prosecute is established, and the subject matter of the prosecution is shown to be the same or substantially similar to that of the subsequent civil proceedings, the Plaintiff is entitled to continue with the exercise of his right to protect any injury done to him. - Adolphus Godwin Karibi-whyte, J.S.C. Col. Halilu Akilu v. Chief Gani Fawehinmi (No.2) (1989)
This court has in Obadara v. Grade B Customary Court (1964) 1 All N.L.R. 336 and Fawehinmi v. Akilu (1987) 4 N.W.L.R. (Pt.67) 797 clearly stated that Mandamus proceedings including applications for leave to issue, are civil proceedings. - Adolphus Godwin Karibi-whyte, J.S.C. Col. Halilu Akilu v. Chief Gani Fawehinmi (No.2) (1989)
In my judgment inherent jurisdiction or inherent power, (as it is more commonly called) of court is that which is not expressly spelt out by the Constitution, or in any statute or rule but which can, of necessity, be invoked by any court of record to supplement its express jurisdiction and powers. - Phillip Nnaemeka-Agu, J.S.C. Col. Halilu Akilu v. Chief Gani Fawehinmi (No.2) (1989)