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A High Court Judge has no competence to deliver a judgment and adjourn to a later date to give reasons for his judgment.

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The Nigerian Court of Appeal, Abuja Division delivered a judgment setting aside a judgment of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on ground that the High Court had no right to deliver its judgment brevi manu and defer its reason(s) to another date. The Court of Appeal held that judgment delivered in such manner is unconstitutional, null and void.

The trial Judge delivered a judgment on 16th February, 2005 after full trial. In his judgment, he found for the Plaintiff and granted him a declaration of title over a plot of land in Asokoro District, Abuja inter-alia. The Judge however did not give the reasons for his judgment; he deferred the reasons to 15th of March, 2005 and consequently abridged the period within which to appeal against his judgment.

Abdullahi Ibrahim & Co represented the Appellant.

Abuja High Court Declares PDP’s Planned Congresses and Convention Unconstitutional

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The ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s planned non-elective congresses and convention suffered a set-back as the said congresses and convention were declared unconstitutional, null and void by the High Court of the Federal Capital territory in a suit brought against the party by some party members in September 2005.

Our Alhaji Ibrahim, SAN acted as Lead Counsel to the Plaintiffs in the Suit (Suit No. FCT/HC/CV/735/05)

The Federal Government has right to ensure that each State Government pays debts guaranteed by the Federal Government.

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In an action brought by the Attorney-General of Abia state against the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Plaintiff contended that it was unlawful for the 1st defendant and his agent to deduct large sums of money from the plaintiff’s share of the Federation Account without the Plaintiff’s consent for the purpose of settling any debt incurred by Imo state prior to the creation of Abia State.

In dismissing the Plaintiff’s case, the Supreme Court held, inter alia, that the 1st Defendant derives its authority to deduct from the Plaintiff’s share of the allocations of the Federation Account from its agreement with the Plaintiff as its surety and guarantor of loans entered into with foreign creditors. The deductions are therefore not unconstitutional but lawful. The case is reported as Attorney General of Abia V. Attorney General of the Federation (2005) 12 NWLR (Pt940) 452.

Service of a Court Process meant for service on a Company on a Guard found in the Company’s premises and without an Affidavit of Service indicating what was served not proper service.

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The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division in a unanimous decision allowed the appeal filed by MTN Nigeria Communications Limited against Bolingo Hotels and Towers Limited and set aside a money Judgment in the sum of N11, 961,714.00 awarded in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The Court of Appeal allowed the Appeal on the ground of improper Service in that there was no Affidavit of Service to indicate what was served, neither was there evidence of service of Hearing Notice. The Court also held that the proof of service which showed that a Guard was served is not the kind of service envisaged by Section 78 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 and Order 12, Rule 8 of the FCT High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 1989.

The Appeal is reported in (2004) 13 NWLR (Pt.889)117.

Abdullahi Ibrahim & Co represented the Appellant.

Supreme Court of Nigeria confirmed the Concurrent Jurisdiction of the Federal High Court to entertain disputes arising from banker-customer relationships

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The Nigerian Supreme Court allowed an appeal brought by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) against Okem Enterprises Ltd & Anor and held that, contrary to the position reached by the Court of Appeal, The High Court of the States in the Federation do not have exclusive jurisdiction in disputes between an individual customer and his bank. The Apex Court held that on a proper construction of the provision to Section 251(1)(d) of the 1979 Constitution and the effect to be given to Decree No. 18 of 1994 (as amended by Decree No. 62 of 1999), the Federal High Court and the State High Courts have concurrent jurisdiction in such disputes.

The decision of the Supreme Court is reported as (2004) 10 NWLR (Pt.880) S.C. 107

Abdullahi Ibrahim & Co. represented the Appellant.

Aso Radio and Television Services Plc comes into being

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The Corporate Affairs commission (CAC) issued Certificate of Incorporation in favour of Aso Radio and Television Services Plc. The company was conceived by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to among other things, carry on business as a radio and television broadcasting organization.

Abdullahi Ibrahim & Co prepared all the incorporation documents and presented them for filing

Federal High Court faulted African Properties Limited’s bid to acquire Federal Government’s 51% Equity in Nirmsco Properties Limited.

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The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja delivered a ruling sustaining the Bureau of Public Enterprises and two others Preliminary Objection and struck out the Suit filed by African Properties Limited against them on ground that the suit was an abuse of court process. The plaintiff, African Properties Limited had, on the strength of a Contract Agreement between it and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (1st Defendant) and the National Council of Privatization (2nd Defendant) dated 30th August, 2002 on the sale of 5% equity shareholding of the Nirmsco Properties Limited (3rd Defendant) sued to enforce the said agreement. On sustaining the defendant’s Preliminary objection, the Court dismissed the Plaintiff’s suit.

The firm of Abdullahi Ibrahim & Co. represented the defendants in the suit (Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/290/2003)

Resource Control Issues laid to rest by Apex Court in Nigeria

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The Supreme Court in Nigeria delivered a judgment in a case brought by the Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against the Attorney General of the States of the Federation for the determination of various questions chief among which was; what is the Southern Seaward boundary of each of the eight littoral states of Aiwa ibom, Bayelsa, Cross-River, Delta, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Rivers for the purpose of calculating the amount of the Revenue accruing to the Federation Account directly from any natural resources derived from that State pursuant to the proviso to Section 162(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

By the said proviso to Section 162(2) of the Constitution not less than thirteen percent of the revenue accruing to the Federation Account directly from any natural resources shall be payable to a state of the Federation from which such natural resources are derived.

The importance of the case therefore was that for a State to qualify for this allocation of funds from the Federation Account, the natural resources must have come from within the boundaries of the state. That is the resource must be located within that state.

In resolving the dispute, the Supreme Court held inter alia, that the Seaward boundary of a littoral State in Nigeria for the purpose of calculating the amount of revenue accruing to the Federation Account directly from any natural resource derived from that State is the low water mark of the land surface thereof on the seaward limits of inland waters within the State. In other words, the Seaward boundary of such a State does not extend to cover natural resources found off-shore.

Abdullahi Ibrahim & Co. acted as one of the firms that represented the Plaintiff i.e. Attorney General of the Federation. The case is reported in Nigeria 65 (2002) 6 NWLR (Pt. 764) 542 (SC) the entire Law Report from Pages 542 – 905 was dedicated to the case.

Legally trained Police Officers can prosecute criminal cases in the Federal High Court

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The Supreme Court on the 17th of February 2006 allowed the appeal filed by the Nigerian Police against the Judgment of the Court of Appeal Lagos Division. The Supreme Court held that a Police officer who is a lawyer can prosecute criminal cases before any court in Nigeria by virtue of Section 23 Police Act, Section 56 (1) Federal High Court Act and Section 174(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.

Abdullahi Ibrahim & Co. represented the Appellant i.e the Police in the Appeal before the Supreme Court.

Mrs Olabisi Soyebo becomes a Senior Advocate of Nigeria

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Our Mrs Olabisi Soyebo our Managing partner based in Abuja was admitted to the Inner Bar as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN) (equivalent of a QC in England) in 2008 making her one of the very few women in Nigeria so honoured. She is also the first female Senior Advocate from the Northern region of Nigeria. This brings to three (3) the number of resident Senior Advocates in the Firm.