DUMEZ (NIG) LTD VS NWAKAOBA & ORS. (2009) 12 S.C.M. (PT 2) 504 at 517 – 518 where the Supreme Court held that:- “It is both fundamental and elementary principle in the determination of actions before a court or tribunal, that the adjudicating body is bound to limit itself to the claims before it. A court may indeed make incidental orders which flow naturally from the relief claimed. However a court has no power and is not under any circumstances entitled to award a relief not claimed by the party in the writ of summons and the statement of claim.”
As rightly submitted by the Petitioners, the reliefs in this Petition, which I have reproduced at the beginning of this judgment, are undoubtedly sought in the alternative. The settled law is that reliefs can be sought in the alternative and where so sought by a party, he is at liberty to plead conflicting facts in line with the alternative reliefs he has sought. In ADIGHIJE V NWAOGU & ORS (2010) 12 NWLR (Pt. 1209) 419 at 545, paras. E G; (2010) LPELR-4941(CA) at pages 14 – 16, paras. E G, this Court, per Ogunwumiju, JCA (as he then was, now JSC), held that: “…in civil litigation and indeed in election matters, a party can make two seemingly contradictory pleadings leading to two different heads of claim. That is why a petitioner can claim that the election be annulled for reason of substantial non-compliance and in the same breath claim that he won the election by a majority of lawful notes. A petitioner may plead the same set of facts to ground alternative reliefs. Those pleadings are not ipso facto held to be self-contradictory. The Court can only grant one relief as the party must decide which relief is best supported by the evidence on record.” See also: METAL CONSTRUCTION (W.A.) LTD v ABODERIN (1998) LPELR 1868(SC) at pages 26, paras. C E.
— H.S. Tsammani, JCA. Peter Obi & Anor. v INEC & Ors. (2023) – CA/PEPC/03/2023