The award of costs involves a judicial discretion which must be exercised judicially and judiciously on fixed principles that is according to rules of reason and justice not according to private opinion. See Wurno v. VAC Ltd. (1956) I FSC 33 at 34. The exercise of such discretion must similarly not be affected by question of benevolence or sympathy. The award of costs is not meant to be a bonus to the successful party and should not be awarded on sentiment. See Universal Bank of Nigeria Ltd. v. Nwaokolo (1995) 11 Kings Law report (KLR) 919. Rewani v. Festus Okotie-Eboh (1960) 5 FSC 200 at 207. It follows therefore that the discretion of the court in awarding costs must be judicially and judiciously. It is an acceptable practice in law for appellate court not to interfere with the exercise of discretion by lower courts. In this regard appellate courts seldom interfere with the exercise of discretion in awards of costs except where such discretion is not exercised judicially and judiciously. See Nwaubani v. Golden Guinea Breweries Plc. (1995) 6 NWLR (Pt 400) page 191. A trial judge has discretion whether to award costs or not and also as regards the person by whom the costs are to be paid.
— Abdu Aboki JCA. ACB v Ajugwo (2011) – CA/E/66/2006