It is trite that the award of costs is always at the discretion of the court but such discretion must be exercised judiciously and judicially. It is also a well settled principle that costs follow event and a successful party is entitled to costs except where there are special reasons for depriving him of such entitlement and these ought to be shown by the judge. See OBAYAGBONA VS OBAZEE (1972) 5 SC 247. AMIRA NIG) LTD VS MAL (NIG) LTD. (2001) 17 NWLR (PT 742) 269 and DONATUS IDAM VS ALEX IDEMYOR MENE (2009) 17 NWLR (PT 1169) 74 … It is worthy of note that costs are not imposed as a punishment on the party who pays them, neither are they awarded as a bonus to the benefiting party. The party entitled should only be indemnified for his out of pocket expenses and be compensated for the true and fair expenses for the litigation. See BUHARI VS OBASANJO (2005) All FWLR (PT 258) 1604; KUKOYI VS ODUFALE (1965) 1 All NLR 300 and OLASOPE VS NATIONAL BANK OF NIGERIA (1985) 3 NWLR (PT 11) 147.
— S.C. Oseji, JCA. ACB v Ajugwo (2011) – CA/E/66/2006