Assuming that I am wrong and the action ought to have been instituted in a representative capacity, what is the position of the law? The rule as to representative actions was derived from the Court of Chancery in England, which required the presence of all parties to an action so as to put an end to the matters in controversy. See Anatogu v. Attorney General of Eastern Nigeria (1976) 11 SC 109. The rule has been described as a “rule of convenience only.” See Hamisu v. Abergavenny (Marquis of) (1887) 3 TLR 324 at 324. As a rule that was originated for convenience, and for the sake of convenience, it has been relaxed, (see Bedford (Duke of) v. Ellis (1901) AC 1 at page 8). As a rule of convenience, it is a matter, which ought not to be treated as rigid but as a flexible tool of convenience in the administration of justice. See Anatogu v. Attorney General of Eastern Nigeria. In other words, Courts of law should not myopically follow the rule rigidly and fall into a big ditch and find themselves in a state of mirage where it becomes impossible to retrace their steps to do justice in a given case. On the contrary, Courts of law should invoke the rule where it is convenient to do so to assist them in doing justice in a given case. It is this aspect of doing justice in a case that vindicates the element of convenience built into the rule. The rule is not cut-and-dry. After all, justice is paramount in the judicial process. It is the cynosure of the process.
— Niki Tobi, JSC. Mozie & Ors. v. Mbamalu & Ors. (2006) – S.C.345/2001