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LAW REPORTS NEED NOT BE CERTIFIED

Dictum

It is an accepted practice that law reports are usually cited by parties and copies of such law reports made available to the court, even from the bar. A court of law can make use of relevant judgments or decisions in law reports cited by learned counsel without insisting that judgments in the law reports be certified by the appropriate court(s) which delivered the judgments. The two previous judgments relied upon by the 4th respondent were respectively reported in (1985) 2 NWLR (Pt. 9) 734 and (2003) 13 NWLR (Pt. 836) 119. It is a matter of common public knowledge, especially among members of the legal profession – Legal Practitioners, Law Lecturers and Law Professors, Law Officers, Magistrates, Khadis, Judges and Justices that the acronym “NWLR” means “Nigerian Weekly Law Reports” published by the Nigerian Law Publications Limited founded by one of the finest, brightest and most hardworking legal practitioners that Nigeria has ever produced – Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), of blessed memory. In the discharge of my duties, speaking for myself, I have found the law reports and publications by Nigerian Law Publications Limited most reliable and very helpful. In the absence of allegation of supply or suppression by the law reporters of any part in the two judgments as reported in the Nigerian Weekly Law Reports (NWLR), cited above, I am very comfortable that the learned trial judge rightly relied on the two law reports in determining the 4th respondent’s notice of preliminary objection, notwithstanding that certified true copies of the said judgments were not filed with the said notice.

– Adumein JCA. Adewoyin v. Executive Governor (2011)

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REGISTRAR-GENERAL IS TO CERTIFY CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION

From the foregoing it goes without saying that certification shall be done by the Registrar-General of Companies at the Corporate Affairs Commission. Any Certified True Copy which had passed through the foregoing process shall be of equal validity with the original Certificate of Incorporation. Exhibit A however was certified at the Lagos State High Court Ikeja Division. The Registrar of Ikeja High Court is not the officer having custody of the original Certificate of Incorporation of the 1st plaintiff/appellant. He is not competent in the circumstance to certify a copy of Certificate of Incorporation issued by the Corporate Affairs Commission. The appellants have failed to prove that the 1st plaintiff/appellant is a juristic person.

– Adekeye, J.S.C. Goodwill v. Witt (2011) – SC. 266/2005

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COURT IS NOT LIMITED TO LAWS/AUTHORITIES CITED BY COUNSEL

Every Judge in Nigeria has sworn to do justice according to law. The laws to be applied by a court in all cases are not limited to only those authorities, statutory and judicial, which have been cited for the court’s consideration by counsel on both sides. Rather, they include those laws which the court can judicially notice as well as those relevant to the issues before the court which the court can from its own research find out. If Judges, do otherwise they will be deciding contrary to laws which they have sworn to uphold.

– NNAEMEKA-AGU, J.S.C. Finnih v. Imade (1992)

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CERTIFICATION OF DOCUMENT BY ADVERSE PARTY, UNREALISTIC

I think, the law would be very naive and unserious to expect a vital document gotten, anyhow or by unconventional method from the covers/custody of an adverse party, to be certified by the same adverse party, who is ready to deny the document, before reliance can be placed on it, where the court is satisfied that the document is relevant and credible.

– I.G. Mbaba, JCA. Ilorin East v. Alasinrin (2012) – CA/IL/38/2011

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FILING HARDCOPY WHEN DECISION OF COURT IS ALREADY REPORTED IS UNNECESSARY

On 23rd May, 2023, a day after the appeal was heard, learned. counsel for the Appellant forwarded to this court, hard copies of this court’s decision in NWOSU V. APP (2020) 16 NWLR (PT. 1749) 28 and APC V. SHERIFF & ORS (2023) LPELR 59953 (SC) as well as the decision of the lower court in NWOSU V. APP & ORS (2019) LPELR 49206 (CA). The said cases have already been reported, hence forwarding their hard copies was needless. — A. Jauro, JSC. PDP v INEC (2023) – SC/CV/501/2023

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