Ishaya P. Amaza, Esq. 08064817798, 08023567462
(a) Final decisions in any proceedings before the High Court sitting at firstinstance. There is a right of appeal here whether the appeal is on grounds of law orfact or mixed law and fact. Where an appeal is against the final decisions of theHigh Court or Federal High Court sitting at first instance, the appellant canappeal as of right by virtue of Section 241(1) of the 1999 Constitution withoutleave of court.In
Ohajunwa v Obelle
the Court of Appeal stated that the test fordeciding whether a decision is final or interlocutory depends on its results. If thedecision finally disposes of the rights of the parties, it is a final decision and notan interlocutory decision and such a decision can only be reviewed or reversedby an appellate court and not by the trial court which gave it. The Court of Appeal further stated in the case that refusal of trial court to set aside its default judgement was a final decision.
A decision on an issue can be final even whenthe substantive suit has not been decided provided the court cannot legitimatelyre-open, vary or set aside the issue especially when a valid plea of
can be founded on it.
Thus no matter the words or phrases used to conclude a judgement, whether the words ‘struck out’ or ‘dismissed’ are used, the test of whether a decision is final is if it is one that cannot be varied, re-opened or setaside by the court that delivered it or any court of coordinate jurisdictionalthough it may be subject to a court of higher jurisdiction. Consequently, adecision of a court that it has or does not have jurisdiction to entertain a suit is afinal decision, and does not require leave as was held by the Supreme Court inthe case of
UBA v Akinsanya
(b) Where grounds of appeal involves questions of law alone.
(2008) 3 NWLR (Part 1073) at 52
Ibid. page 73, paragraphs A-B
Kasandubu v Ultimate Petroleum Ltd
(2008) 7 NWLR part 1086 at 274, page 291-292, paras G - A
(1986) 4 NWLR Part 35 page 273
Section 241(1)(b) of the 1999 Constitution