WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF AN ACTION BROUGHT OUTSIDE A STATUTORILY LIMITED PERIOD?

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CASE TITLE: MONGUNO v. APC & ORS (2019) LPELR-47740(CA)

JUDGMENT DATE: 7TH JUNE, 2019

PRACTICE AREA: ELECTORAL MATTERS

LEAD JUDGMENT: UCHECHUKWU ONYEMENAM, J.C.A.

SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT:

INTRODUCTION

This appeal borders on Electoral Matters.

FACTS

This is an appeal against the decision of the Federal High Court presided by Jude K. Dakat J., delivered on the 2nd April 2019 in Suit No. FHC/MG/CS/60/2018, wherein the trial Court entered judgment in favour of the Respondents and against the Appellant by upholding the 1st and 2nd Respondents notice of preliminary objection which challenged the competence of Appellant’s Originating Summons on the main that Appellant’s action was statute barred.

​At the trial Court, the Appellant’s Originating Summons was filed on 30th October 2018. The Originating Summons is at page 1 of the records. The Appellant’s case is that the Originating Summons is a challenge of the decision of the Appeal Committee of the 1st Respondent in the return of the 2nd Respondent as the candidate of the 1st Respondent owing to several infractions. The 1st and 2nd Respondents filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection on 21st November 2018.

​The learned trial Judge after considering the objection of the 1st & 2nd Respondents held that the suit was statute barred thereby robbing the trial Court of its jurisdiction to determine the matter. The learned trial judge after upholding the objection dismissed the Appellant’s Claim, without making a pronouncement on the substantive suit.

Aggrieved with the decision of the High Court, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION

The Court of Appeal determined the appeal on a sole issue which is:

“Whether the trial Court was right in his evaluation of the evidence before it to reach the conclusions that the Appellant failed to indicate the date the Appeal Committee report was made, and that the suit was statute barred.”

DECISION/HELD

On the whole, the Court found no merit in the appeal and accordingly dismissed same.

RATIOS:

  • ELECTORAL MATTERS – PRE-ELECTION MATTERS: Proper time to institute pre-election matters: how to determine the date of accrual of cause of action
  • ELECTORAL MATTERS – PARTY CONSTITUTION: Whether political parties must obey their own Constitutions
  • ELECTORAL MATTERS – PRE-ELECTION MATTERS: Proper Court to file pre-election matters
  • LIMITATION LAW – LIMITATION PERIOD: Effect of an action brought outside a statutorily limited period
Court of AppealElectoral matterslatest judgmentsLawPavilionLawPavilion OnlineLawPavilion Primepre-election

lawpavilion • June 25, 2019


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