(1985) 1 LRLR Vol 1 Page 120 (Reprint)
                                                                         Alternative Citation
 (1985) 1 NWLR (PART 1) PAGE 126

The suit leading to the appeal originated from the High Court of Lagos State. The Respondents applied to the Court of Appeal for an order granting them an extension of time within which to appeal from the Ruling of the High Court of Lagos State given on the 22nd day of February, 1982. The Ruling was neither verified in the Affidavit in support of the motion nor exhibited along with the motion paper.

The Court of Appeal in a judgment dated 21st April, 1982 granted the Respondents an extension of time within which to appeal against the order of the Lagos State High Court per Hon. Justice C.O.O Bada. The Court held in granting the application that the case of Ibodo and ors. V. Enarofa (1980) 5-7 S.C. 42 at pp. 53-57 as relied on by the Learned Counsel for the University of Lagos is distinguishable from the case particularly when it was not contesting the Rules of the Court in coming to its decision.

The Appellant dissatisfied with the judgment appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court delivered its judgment on 25th January 1985. The judgment was delivered by Hon Justice Mohammed Bello J.S.C, Kayode Eso J.S.C, Augustine Nnamani J.S.C, Saidu Kawu J.S.C, Chukwudifu Akunne Oputa J.S.C.

The Supreme Court in deciding the appeal held that Ibodo's case is a subsisting judgment of this Court on the requirements for an application under Order 7 Rule 4(2) of the Supreme Court Rules 1977, which is in pari materia with Order 3 Rule 4(2) of the Federal Court of Appeal Rules 1981. Where a higher court in the hierarchy of courts has construed a rule of court which is in pari materia with the rules of a lower court that decision of the higher court is binding on the lower court in so far as the meaning of that rule of court is concerned. Therefore Ibodo’s case is clearly binding on the Court of Appeal and it was an error of law not to have followed it.

The Court also held in the lead judgment delivered by Nnamani J.S.C (page 143 paragraph B-C) that “Unless the exercise of discretion by a court of first instance or by a lower court is manifestly wrong, arbitrary, reckless or injudicious an appellate court would not interfere merely because faced with similar circumstances it would have reacted differently. See Tetteh Worbi and Ors. V Adamali Asamanyuam and Ors. 14 W.A.CA. 669 at 671.”
Accordingly, the Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal and set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

This principle as laid down by the Supreme Court has been followed strictly and applied by the Court in cases such as IN RE ADEWUNMI (1988) 3 NWLR (PT. 83) 483, NWABUEZE V NWOSU (1988) 4 NWLR (PT. 88) 257 and others.

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