In Ushie v. Agbalu (2013) JELR 51127 (CA), the court relied on: Iyoho v. Effiong where the Supreme Court per A. M. Mukthar, JSC (as she then was) said: “Although the word ‘may’ is used in the provision, it does not necessarily mean that it means permissible. ‘May’ in ‘Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th Edition, page 1000, has been defined inter alia as ‘loosely, is required to; shall; must…In dozens of cases, courts have held may to be synonymous with shall or must, usually in an effort to effectuate legislative intent.”
It is settled law that where the words of a statute or Constitution are clear and unambiguous, they call for no interpretation, the duty of the court in such a circumstance being to apply the words as used by the legislature.
– WS Onnoghen, JSC. Calabar CC v. Ekpo (2008)