May 21, 2024

Position of the Law on the Life Span of an Ex-parte Order: Skye Bank v. Haruna & Ors


JUDGMENT AND ORDER – EX-PARTE ORDER – Position of the law on the life span of an ex-parte order.

Download Full Judgment

“Implicit in that is the law that ex-parte orders are by their very nature not intended or meant to last forever, but to have a short life span, usually for 7 or 14 days depending on the Rule of Court unless renewed, or pending the hearing of a motion on notice. The reason for this is not far fetched. Being orders made behind the other Party, and usually for exigencies to maintain the status quo, ex-parte orders cannot have a long life span and indeed automatically die after the 14 days by Order 26 Rule 12 (1) of the F. H. C. (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2009, or until the motion on notice is heard. This position was succinctly stated in the case of Enekwe Vs Ima Ltd (1997) 10 NWLR (Pt. 526) 60I at 611. When the Court held:- ?

“By their nature, injunction, orders granted ex parte can only be properly interim in nature. They are made without notice to the other side to keep matters in status quo to a named date, usually not more than a few days or until the Respondent can be put on notice. It is therefore wrong to make an ex-parte without fixing a date of hearing of the motion on Notice.”

An ex-parte order which invariably affects a party who is absent at the proceedings in the Court when the order is made, must necessarily have a very short life span otherwise the order would come in conflict with the right of fair hearing enshrined in Section 36 (1) of the Constitution, FRN, 1999 (as amended). They must therefore be made to last until a given date, not more than a few days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *