Judgment: What is the Significance of the Terms “Leading Judgment” and “Concurring Judgment”?


Emmanuel J. Samaila’s Lex Scripta (Note 29)

It is common knowledge that the judgments of an appeal Court fall under three categories: Leading Judgment, Concurring Judgment and Dissenting Judgment.

Hear Justice Nweze’s exposition, on the legal implication of the first and second categories of judgments, in the case of Abimbola Daramola v Wale Aribisala & Anor (infra):

“Issues for determination based on a ground of appeal from a concurring judgement which is different from the leading judgement can only be obiter dicta…concurring judgement…which differs from the lead judgement…amounts to obiter dicta and are not valid.

In Abacha & Ors. V Fawehinmi (2000) All NLR 351, Achike JSC, in obvious elaboration of the above terse statement of the law, posed the question: ‘One may then ask: what is the judgement of the court?’

The distinguished Justice of the Supreme Court answered the question thus: where a single judge presides, the situation does not admit of any difficulty;…

His Lordship continued: the problem…arises when three justices…or five justices…preside over a case or an appeal wherein one of them is assigned the responsibility to write the leading judgement and others, under the mandatory provision of the Constitution, are obliged to render either their concurring or dissenting judgements.

In such a situation, it is the leading judgement that is, in legal circles, regarded as the judgement of the court.”


Abimbola Daramola v Wale Aribisala & Anor (2009) ALL FWLR (PT 496) 1964
(2009) LPELR -8515 (CA)

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