Can failure to consider Counsel Brief amount to lack of fair hearing?

Facts:

The Respondent obtained Judgment against the Appellant for breach of contract and

defamation. The Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal. Both parties filed Briefs

of Argument and the Appellant filed a Reply Brief. In the course of its Judgment, the

Court of Appeal said that the Appellant did not file a Reply Brief to respond to

certain submissions in the Respondent Brief. The Appellant further appealed to the Supreme Court.

 

Issue:

Whether Court’s failure to consider Reply Brief can amount to denial of fair hearing.

 

Held:

Failure by the Court to consider a Reply Brief means that the entire case of the party has not been considered. This is a breach of fair hearing and such a breach amounts to a miscarriage of justice, sufficient warrant for a reversal of Judgment on appeal. “Fair hearing lies in the procedure followed in the case, not in the correctness of the decision.”

Zenith Plastics Industries Ltd. V. Samotech Ltd. [2018] 8 NWLR (Pt. 1620) 165SC @175E, G, 176C, H, 177B-D, 181B.

 

Orugbo & Anor V. Una & Ors [2002] 16 NWLR (Pt. 792) 175 followed.

Kotoye V. Central Bank of Nigeria [1989] 1 NWLR (Pt. 98) 419 applied.

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