My Grouse: My Lords are Very Stingy – Ask Them for Injunction, They Give Status Quo.

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 “I therefore dismiss this appeal and award cost of N10,000 in favour of the Respondent who was the …”

Na follow I follow them go nod head for Supreme Court o and na 10k cost them give us. for a 2003 matter. Prosecuted and won consistently from trial court to the apex court. On our way to the airport, na so my head turn. I face my senior, “sir this cost this people gave us is for what exactly?” Catching my joke immediately he responded nonchalantly. “for pure water and zobo inside traffic on your way to the airport? But why?

That one self no too pain me like this one. So I was asked to go and “collect” judgment. Our client was detained for 14 days, the man nearly die for Police hand. He was on admission for over two weeks after the whole experience. It was a partnership, documents signed and transaction yielding profit for about two years before the business began to have problem. His partner lured him into signing cheques with another addendum to the agreement to confirm from him before presenting cheque. This the complainant never did. For 14 days he was kept by those who should know better. It was until he parted with about N10 million that they released him. We were in court the next day after he briefed us. Fundamental enforcement application argued and ruling reserved. We asked for N200 million damages in addition to declaratory reliefs. My Lord looked at all of us and gave us 50k. We should go and celebrate the fact that she has declared that our client’s right was indeed infringed upon?

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How can our judges be stingy like this? If you try to read those judgments from UK, US, Canada courts and all those places like that, you will understand why this thing is paining me like this. You will be hearing money like water. Even if you injure dog self over there, you will pay through your nose. Cat nko, fowl nko, even the one where police self no do investigation well, them sama one correct fine give them sharp sharp. My question for my Lords from Nigeria is simple,  “My Lords Sirs, shey na una money this people go use pay this thing?” Haba, don’t be stingy to us naa.

After, we will all be angry that law enforcement agencies are still harassing people over contractual relationship. Why won’t they? All these judgment from Supreme Court to Court of Appeal that are asking them to stop turning themselves into debt recovery agents is it not obvious that they are not even perturbed? Have you paused to ask why they have continued to harass, intimidate and extort your clients over petitions that clearly have nothing to do with crime? It is because they have not been punished. There is only one way to get them to take these judgments seriously and that one way is for our judges to stop being stingy!  Be generous with these things nobody is going to punish anybody. You still don’t understand? Let me break it down.

Ok, starting with the case I mentioned above, let us assume that my Lord yare like Warri man, come give N100m. We enforce it against police. It makes headline. Another harassment, yet another judge gives punitive damage of N150m fiam! What do you think will happen? IG of police himself will order that all petitions should be sent to his desk for approval. Only him will confirm whether a petition is worth investigating and even when they try to investigate, they will do it with politeness. invite you, send you back home, invite you again, send you back home and finally send all of you away.  EFCC nko? Trust me, the Chairman will take charge of assigning investigation and arrest.  Before arrest, they will be sure of what they are arresting you for. As a matter of fact, I see a situation where it is SANs they will employ to man their legal departments. Who would be better for it? ALL OF US!

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How will I come and present very pathetic case like this and you are not awarding heavy punitive damages. Maka why? When it is your discretionary power. It is just to use it judicially and judiciously or is there a place where it is written that you should be awarding small small damages and costs? Speaking seriously, does it make sense that these people are not getting punitive damages? It doesn’t. That is how in one state like that, they said they have reviewed their rule only for this cost issue to be falling on top lawyer head. “If you don’t, ‘yaga’ N100k to be paid by counsel himself, if you yugu, 50k to be paid by counsel himself.”  Meanwhile counsel will finish matter and you give him 10k. What kind of stinginess is this?

Ok how about orders and injunctions? This one na no go area. Until recently when the CJN was arrested, I didn’t know that this thing called ex-parte order is still part of the reliefs that our judges give. See ex-parte injunction flying from left right and center. So una been get this thing before and just dey hide am?

My Lords are very stingy. You will be asking them for injunction they will be offering you status quo. I no see status quo when I come ask for injunction? Give us these things that we ask for so that our morale will boost.

When we ask for ex parte injunction and present every reason to have it, please give us. Don’t give us status quo. Don’t be stingy.

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When we ask for damages for wrongs, don’t give us money for pepper. Give us correct damages. Don’t be stingy

When we present fundamental enforcement and it has merit, please My Lords Sirs, give punitive damages against these law enforcement agencies so that they will reset their brains.

As the Court Pleases!

My Grouse; Making serious sense unseriously!

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