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Henry O. Awoniyi & Ors v. AMORC (NIG) (2000)

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⦿ CASE SUMMARY OF:

Henry O. Awoniyi & Ors v. AMORC (NIG) (2000) – SC

by PipAr Chima

⦿ COURT:

Supreme Court

⦿ NOTABLE DICTA

* PARTIES COMPLAINED AGAINST MUST BE MADE PARTIES
It is trite that parties against whom complaints are made in an action must be made parties to such action. – Mohammed JSC. Awoniyi v. AMORC (2000)

* JUDGEMENT CONFINED TO ISSUE RAISED
It is a well settled principle of judicial adjudication that the judgment in a lis must be confined to the cause of action and the issues raised on the pleadings See: Ochonma v. Asirim Unosi (1965) NMLR 321. The court cannot grant remedies or reliefs not claimed by the parties. – Karibe-Whyte JSC. Awoniyi v. AMORC (2000)

* CONSEQUENTIAL ORDER GIVES EFFECT TO A JUDGEMENT
A consequential order is an order founded on the claim of the successful party. In other words, a consequential order is one which is not merely incidental to a decision properly made, but one which is merely to give effect to that decision. – Karibe-Whyte JSC. Awoniyi v. AMORC (2000)

* PURPOSE OF JOINDER
The purpose of joinder of parties in an action is to enable the court to effectually and completely adjudicate upon and settle all questions involved in the cause or matter see: Oladeinde and Anor. v. Oduwole (1962) WNLR 41. It is an elementary and fundamental principle that a judgment in personam is only binding on the parties to the lis. Accordingly, all parties who may be affected by the result of the litigation may be joined either as plaintiffs or defendants. – Karibe-Whyte JSC. Awoniyi v. AMORC (2000)

* PARTY CANNOT BE GRANTED WHAT HE DID NOT CLAIM
In this regard, the law is long and well settled that where a plaintiff claims, say, a declaration of title to land or whatever, and his claim is dismissed, it will be wrong to grant the declaration to the defendant if he did not ask for it by way of counter-claim. See: Ntiaro v. Akpam 3 N.L.R. 10; Abisi v. Ekwealor (1993) 6 NWLR (Pt. 302) 643 etc. As has been pointed out repeatedly by this and other courts, courts of law are no father Christmas and they must not grant to a party a relief which he has not sought or claimed or which is more than he has claimed. see: Ekpenyong v. Nyong (1975) 2 S.C. 71 at 81-82. – Iguh JSC. Awoniyi v. AMORC (2000)

* WHAT IS A CONSEQUENTIAL ORDER
And I start by asking myself what a consequential order really means. It is, in my view, an order which flows necessarily, naturally, directly and consequentially from a decision or judgment delivered by a court in a cause or matter. It arises logically and inevitably by reason of the fact that the order in question is per force obviously and patently consequent upon the decision given by the court and did not need to be specifically claimed as a distinct or separate head or item of relief. The purpose of a consequential order is to give effect to the decision or judgment of the court but not by granting an entirely new, unclaimed and/or incongruous relief which was not contested by the parties at the trial and neither did it fall in alignment with the original reliefs claimed in the suit nor was it in the contemplation of the parties that such relief would be the subject matter of a formal executory judgment or order against either side to the dispute. A consequential order may also not be properly made to give to a party, an entitlement to a relief he has not established in his favour. – Iguh JSC. Awoniyi v. AMORC (2000)

* DETERMINATION CONFINED TO CAUSE OF ACTION
It must be borne in mind, the settled principle that the hearing and determination of any cause or matter must be confined to the cause of action and the issues raised on the pleadings. – Ejinwunmi JSC. Awoniyi v. AMORC (2000)

⦿ PARTIES

APPELLANT
Henry O. Awoniyi & Ors.

v.

RESPONDENT
The Reg. Trustees of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC (NIG)

⦿ LEAD JUDGEMENT DELIVERED BY:

Mohammed, J.S.C.

⦿ APPEARANCES

* FOR THE APPELLANT

– Mr. Wole Olufon.

* FOR THE RESPONDENT

– Akpamgbo, SAN.

⦿ CASE HISTORY

The applicants, filed a motion and prayed for the following orders:

1. An order directing the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission to withdraw and cancel the certificate of registration of the respondent No. 1415 dated 7th July, 1982 or any subsequent certificate issued to the respondent.

2. An order directing the Inspector-General of Police to seal up all the offices of the respondent nationwide and to prosecute any persons carrying on activities in the name of the respondent.” The motion was supported by an affidavit of 7 paragraphs. It was sworn to by one David Okoh. The facts disclosed in paragraphs 3-7 explain the grounds for this application. Paragraphs 3-7 read: “3. That the Supreme Court of Nigeria delivered judgment in Suit No. SC.23/1991, the Registered Trustees of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC (Nigeria) v. Henry O. Awoniyi and Ors., on the 15th of July, 1994 holding that the respondent is a secret society. Copies of the judgment are hereto attached and marked Exhibits JO 1-10.5. 4. That subsequent to this judgment, the respondent which is a registered corporation in Nigeria under the Land (Perpetual Succession) Act (Cap 98) Laws of the Federation, 1958 which Law has been repealed and replaced by the Companies and Allied Matters Decree 1990 has been carrying on its activities as a secret society.
5. That the respondent is still recognised as a registered corporation by the Corporate Affairs Commission under the Companies and Allied Matters Decree, 1990.
6. That the respondent has been carrying on its activities in contempt of the judgment of this Honourable Court, through various publications in the news media.”

⦿ ISSUE(S) & RESOLUTION

[APPEAL: STRUCK OUT]

The Supreme Court declared the motion filed by the applicant incompetent, for the following reasons:

i. I do not hesitate to say that the ground upon which the applicant’s motion is filed is unsustainable due to procedural wrongs. The first error is the failure of the applicant to make
both the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Inspector-General of Police parties to the applicant’s motion. It is trite that parties against whom complaints are made in an action must be made parties to such action. See: Uzor v. Nigerian Stores Workers Union (1973) 9-10 SC 35. It is an elementary procedure in prosecuting civil claims that all parties necessary for the invocation of the judicial powers of the court must come before it so as to give the court jurisdiction to grant the reliefs sought see: Oloriode v. Oyebi (1984) 1 SCNLR 390 and Okafor v. Nnaife (1973) 3 S.C. 85. The failure of the applicants to make the
Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Inspector-General of Police as necessary parties has rendered the applicant’s motion incompetent.

ii. Secondly, when this court dismissed both the appeal and the cross-appeal in the suit filed by the respondent in Calabar High Court, it did not make any order in favour of any of the
parties. I have mentioned before in this ruling, that the observations made by my Lords, Justices Wali and Iguh which the applicants want to cash on were mere passing remarks. I agree with Akpamgbo, SAN, that the judgment of this court is not a declaratory judgment. There is therefore no order to enforce. If Mr. Olufon says what he has prayed for is a consequential order, he is wrong. A consequential order must be one giving effect to the judgment from which it flows. The issue which was determined in the High Court at Calabar was libel. The decision of the High Court was set aside by the Court of Appeal. On appeal to this court the judgment of the Court of Appeal was affirmed. That was the end of the matter. We did not declare anything warranting enforcement of our judgment.

⦿ ENDING NOTE BY LEAD JUSTICE – Per

⦿ REFERENCED (STATUTE)

⦿ REFERENCED (CASE)

⦿ REFERENCED (OTHERS)

Also read:  CHARLES CHIWENDU ODEDO v. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION & ANOR (2008)

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