Decision Of A Court With Competent Jurisdiction – Meaning And Effect Of

Decision Of A Court With Competent Jurisdiction – Meaning And Effect Of

“In this Constitution
unless it is otherwise expressly provided or the context otherwise requires-
“decision” means, in relation to a court, any determination of that court and
includes judgment; decree, order conviction, sentence or recommendation”.
  • SECTION 318 (1) OF THE 1999
It is trite that the
decision of a court of competent jurisdiction no matter its nature is absolute
and binding on all and sundry without question until such decision is legally
and legitimately set aside by a competent court of appellate jurisdiction. As
stated in Section 318 (1) above, the decision of a court varies from judgment
to decree, order, conviction, sentence and recommendation. The decision of a
court of competent jurisdiction could be either final or interim in nature.

A final decision of a
court as the name connotes is final and permanent with respect to that suit and
the court becomes functo officio i.e. the court cannot revisit same. The
only option available to any aggrieved party in such instance will be to have
same set aside either in its entirety or in part, by a competent court of appellate
jurisdiction. Examples of final decisions are conviction, sentence and decree.
An interim decision on the other hand is neither final nor permanent. As the
word ‘interim’ connotes, it is made to last for a specific period of time,
usually pending the determination of the suit or a motion on notice. The coming
to an end of an interim order of a court of competent jurisdiction does not
adversely affect whatever such order was meant to achieve or had achieved and
examples of interim decisions are court orders and recommendations.
The fact of a decision
being final or interim does not affect its application and effectiveness. A
decision of a court with competent jurisdiction remains valid and enforceable
and must at all times be obeyed. Whether or not an appellate court will have
come to a different decision compared to that of a trial court, even at that,
appellate courts do not ordinarily intervene as matters of practice in
decisions which border on the exercise of discretion by the lower court. An appellate
court will only interfere/intervene where it considers that the exercise of
discretion by such lower court – was wrongly exercised based on wrong or
erroneous premise; or was perverse; or where there was a violation of some
principles of law or procedure- such as where the lower court took irrelevant
materials into consideration or failed to consider relevant materials in
arriving at its decision; and in all other circumstance where such exercise
would occasion a miscarriage of justice.
When a court makes an
order or give a final judgment, every person against or in respect of whom such
order is made have an obligation to obey it unless and until that order is
discharged. This is because courts are recognized as the hallowed chambers of
justices, where even-handed justice is meted out to all and sundry, without
sentiment, emotion, favoritism or being unnecessarily embroiled in class
I hope this write up was
beneficial to you. You are welcomed to leave your questions, comments,
constructive criticism, suggestions, new ideas, contributions etc in the
comment section or my email address which is I look forward
to reading from your comments.
    1345 PG. 534
    PART 130-131 Para. E-A, IHUNWO V. IHUNWO (2013) 8 NWLR PART 1357 P. 576
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Ed’s Note – This article was originally posted here
Photo Credit – 

The penalty for killing another human being

Before that day, I had witnessed a number of
sentencing in court but that was my first life sentence. Astonishingly, the convict
remained calm and stood there, clenching his palms in a fist, like he was in a
trance or was dazed. And what was his crime? He had committed murder.
According to the facts of his case, he had lured a
business partner and friend into a secluded bush area and killed him with a machete
just so that he could make away with some money they had both made on a
business sale. The prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and
the court made its pronouncement. Now, he was going to spend the rest of his
life in prison. 
Murder is a crime in all jurisdictions because of
the immorality in taking a life.  Countries
around the world have made laws criminalizing the act including Nigeria as seen
in the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, LFN 2004. It provides in Section 306
306.    It is unlawful to
kill any person unless such killing is authorised or justified or excused by
Yes, the above law makes
the commission of murder a crime, the provisions of the Criminal Code further
provides for the penalty for committing murder in Section 320 where it states; 
320.  Any person who-
(1)    Attempts unlawfully to kill
another; or
(2)   with intent unlawfully to kill
another does any act, or omits to do any act which it is his duty to do, such
act or omission being of such a nature as to be likely to endanger human life;
guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for life.
There are hundreds of
cases of murder before the Courts and the Police Force. In December, 2012, the police
force revealed that
no fewer than 270 people were murdered and 32 policemen
killed in gun battles with armed robbers in Lagos, the nation’s commercial capital. Murder
is a serious crime and I hope you reading this article take note to stay away
from it. 


Credits –
landlord has an unfettered legal right to terminate a tenancy upon giving
adequate notice. This is because the property is his and he can at any time
retrieve it subject to the conditions of the tenancy agreement. Once he abides
by the provisions of the tenancy agreement, the tenant has no choice than to
vacate possession. If the tenant refuses to quit, a court of law can, on an
action by the landlord, force him out of the premises. 
Landlords and Tenants have been mixed up in endless court battles and rigorous
negotiations and/or arguments over notices to quit. The arguments of many
tenants have been that the notices are invalid or not properly served while
Landlords believe otherwise. This is a quick attempt to clear the air on the

order to recover possession of his premises, a landlord must determine the
tenancy, by service on the tenant of the appropriate notice to quit depending
on the type of tenancy. 
tenancy agreements provide for the length of notices and must be strictly
adhered to when it does, however Section
of the Lagos State Rent Control
and Recovery of Residential Premises
law states that –
    1. Where there is no express
stipulation as to the notice to be given by either party to determine the
tenancy, the following periods of time shall be given –
In the case of a tenancy
at will or a weekly tenancy, a week’s notice.
In the case of a monthly
tenancy, a month’s notice;
In the case of a yearly
tenancy, half a year’s notice. 
the determination of the tenancy, the tenant should be served with the
statutory 7 days’ notice of the landlord’s intention to recover possession of
the premises. Thereafter, the action can be filed in court. It should be noted
that service of valid quit notices is a precondition for the recovery of
possession by the Landlord. 
is settledthat a notice to quit in order to be effective ought to determine the
tenancy at the end of the current term of the tenancy as illustrated in the
case of African Petroleum Ltd. V.
Owodunni (1991) 8 NWLR (Pt 210) 391
. For instance, a notice of six months
is necessary to determine a yearly tenancy and such notice must terminate the
tenancy at the end of the current term of the tenancy. Thus any notice given to
end at the middle of the term of the tenancy will be invalid. This was
illustrated in Akpokiniovo V. Air
Liquide Nigeria Plc (2012) LPELR – 9582(CA). 
a tenant for a fixed term refuses at the expiration of his tenancy to vacate
possession and wrongfully, that is, without the consent
of the landlord, continues in possession, he would be a tenant at sufferance.
This arises where a tenant at sufferance, holds over without the landlord’s
assent or dissent. What is important to note is that, if a notice to quit does
not follow the stipulated time prescribed by law, it is not valid.


Credits: Google

As a
lawyer and blogger, I come across many reports bothering on sexual crimes. I bet
you have as well. I particularly remember the shocking news out of India when
four men raped and killed a lady who commuted in the same vehicle with them.
Don’t push your nose up just yet at the Indians; we both know such similar stories
come out of your city or communities as well. Sexual crimes are a universal problem
which the courts and law enforcement agencies come across almost daily, I
wonder why we have so many perverts and sexual predators people committing
such crimes in today’s society.

In Lagos
State,Nigeria, the Criminal Code Law (2011) in Section 258 (1) provides that “any man who has unlawful sexual intercourse
with a woman or girl, without her consent, is guilty of the offence of rape and
liable to imprisonment for life
”. A life time in prison is a long time to rot
cool off in jail because you can’t zip up   control
your sexual urges. Plus, it’s important to identify that fine line between
seduction and attempted rape, the law further states in Subsection (2) that “a woman or girl does not consent to sexual
intercourse if she submits to the act by reason of force, impersonation, threat
or intimidation of any kind, fear of harm or false or fraudulent representation
as to the nature of the act
”. I wonder if religious leaders who cajole
their followers to have sexual intercourse come under this head, what do you

intercourse between a man and a woman who are married is not unlawful and sexual
intercourse is complete on the slightest penetration of the vagina or any other
part for that matter as seen in Section 259 which says “any person who penetrates sexually the anus, vagina, mouth or any other
opening in the body of another person with a part of his body or anything else,
without the consent of the person is guilty of a felony and liable to imprisonment
for life”
. Wow, like I earlier stated, life in jail is a long time for a
crime that takes less than a few minutes to execute, in my opinion, it’s
definitely not worth it, even an attempt to sexually assault or rape is a
felony liable to imprisonment for fourteen (14) years, I bet you don’t want
that either.
Sexual Harassment
is a big thing that could get you a 3 year jail term in Lagos State, you cannot
even touch another person sexually without their consent or you could be liable
to imprisonment for three (3) years, that means squeezing the yansh grabbing
a co-worker or passerby in a sexual manner without their consent is not a good
idea either (S. 261(1)).
harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favours, and other
visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which when submitted to
or rejected–
(a) implicitly
or explicitly affects a person’s employment or educational opportunity or
unreasonably interferes with the person’s work or educational performance;
(b) implicitly
or explicitly suggests that submission to or rejection of the conduct will be a
factor in academic or employment decisions; or
(c) creates
an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning or working environment”.
A person
consents if he agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to make and
communicate that choice. In determining whether a person charged had reasonable
grounds for believing that another person consented, the court shall have
regard to all the circumstances, including any steps taken by the defendant to
ascertain whether the woman or girl consented. So when a girl says no, she
means no. You may ask how can one tell if she’s saying no but means yes, well, except
she is saying no and putting your penis into her vagina if she implies
yes by her other actions or speech, that will be a question for the court to

is another ball game, meaning to fuck an animal to have sexual relations
with an animal is a no-no, any person who has sexual intercourse with an animal
is guilty of a
and is liable to imprisonment for three (3) years (S.265).
Onibokun, Esq