MAGODO: ‘SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT MERELY DECLARATORY,’ SAYS OKUTEPA
Fiery senior lawyer and former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lead Prosecutor, Mr. Jibrin Okutepa SAN has queried the manner of execution of the Supreme Court judgment in the Magodo Shangisha GRA Scheme II, Lagos lawsuit.
Arguing that the judgment was merely declaratory, the senior lawyer said that while judgments of the Supreme Courts are to be given effect by all, “can that judgment be enforced in the manner it was attempted to be done without first positive orders vide fresh action?”
In a post he made today on the CITY LAWYER WhatsApp forum, Okutepa argued that the “legal confusion” was caused “by the manner the reliefs granted by the Supreme Court were couched by the plaintiffs in the case.”
His words: “First the action from what I read was in a representative capacity. Second the reliefs sought and granted by the Supreme Court were declaratory in nature.
“Declaratory judgments are different from other judgments that made positive orders. Declaratory judgment is a judgment from a court that defines the rights of the parties regarding the legal question presented. Declaratory judgments differ from other judgments because they do not order a party to take any action or award any damages for violations of the law.
“Granted that under the Constitution judgments of the Supreme Courts are to be enforced by all persons and authorities in any part of Nigeria, can that judgment be enforced in the manner it was attempted to be done without first positive orders vide fresh action?”
Continuing, he said: “Is that judgment to be enforced in Lagos without the input of the High Court of Lagos State whose judgment was affirmed by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court? Can we indeed say that that judgment was judgment of the Supreme Court or the Judgment of the High Court of Lagos State as affirmed by the Appellate Courts?”
It is recalled that the Lagos State Government has been engaged in a face-off with the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN on the enforcement of the Supreme Court judgment on the Magodo Shangisha GRA Scheme II, Lagos. This led the Lagos State Government to engage the judgment creditors in a negotiation towards finding an amicable resolution to the crisis.
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