A Statement of Claim is not an originating process. It is a process filed subsequent to the Writ of Summons. In the Statement of Claim, the claimant or plaintiff articulates the allegations of facts for the defendant to answer. Without the Statement of Claim, there would be no allegation of facts for the defendant to answer. Thus, issues cannot be joined on any matters and therefore nothing for the Court to try: Fidelis Nwadialo: Civil Procedure in Nigeria, 2nd Ed. Page 442. A defect in the Statement of Claim results not in the striking out of the suit for being a nullity. Rather, it is only the offensive Statement of Claim, as a process or the part or portion thereof of the process that the defendant timeously takes steps to strike out. A defect in the settlement of the Statement of Claim or the Statement of Claim itself is generally regarded as a mere irregularity. The authors of the Supreme Court Practice 1979 [The White Book 1979 – English] opined in paragraph 18/9/1 at page 311 thereof and I agree “that every pleading which offend the rules will be struck out. The applicant must show that he is in some way prejudiced by the Irregularity”. They further opined in paragraph 18/9/2 ibid – Where the Statement of Claim is being attacked, the application may be made before the defence is served [A – G of DUCHY OF LANCASTER V.L. and N.W.L.R. (1892) 2 Ch. 274]. In other words, the objection must be made timeously before the defence is served; otherwise, the objection is deemed to have been waived or compromised.
— Ejembi Eko, JSC. Bakari v. Ogundipe (2020) – SC.514/2015