Written by Carrington Omokaro, Esq
The Supreme Court in the case of Odey v. Alaga (2021) 13 NWLR (Part 1792) 1 delivered on 25th of February, 2021 in a split decision of 4-3 decided that a Notice of Appeal must be served on the respondent personally and that service of a Notice of Appeal on the Respondent’s counsel instead of the Respondent personally, renders the appeal incompetent.
However in the recent decision of Amaechi v. Gov. Of Rivers State (2022) 17 NWLR (Part 1858) 1 delivered on 27th May, 2022, the court stated that a Notice of Appeal filed and served on the Respondent’s counsel is proper service as far as the court is satisfied that the Notice of Appeal has been communicated to the Respondent.
Why Odey v. Alaga wasn’t good precedence
The Respondent who filed the objection had already filed its Respondent’s brief to the Appellant’s brief and there was also a reply brief by the Appellant.
It was also on record that there was an application by the Appellant to regularise the defect. Hence the principle in priority of motions as laid in NALSA & TEAMS ASSOCIATE v. NNPC (1991) (PT 212) and AG FED v. AIC Ltd (1995) (PT 378) ought to have been followed.
Odey v. Alaga (2021) Part 1792 as well as JEGEDE v. INEC (2021) (PART 1797) – (Had the Majority in Jegede’s case considered the provisions of S. 318 perhaps the decision who have been different), are the specific instances where I with due respect agree with the reasoning of the Minority decision over the Majority.