A litigant has a duty to monitor the progress of his case

N. A. C. B. LTD. v. Ozoemelam [2016] 9 NWLR (Pt. 1517) 376 at 407-408, paras. H-A, per Ngwuta JSC:


“Again, the appellants were not only indolent but treated the matter in court in which they were involved as defendants with utter contempt. A person with a case in court, either as plaintiff or as defendant, can ill-afford the luxury of defiant complacency, and expect that miracles will take place to protect his interest at stake in litigation. It is in the interest of a party to check the Registry of the court if nothing has been heard after a reasonable lapse of time for the current status of the case. In the circumstance, I believe it is a gross abuse and insult to the court for the appellant to slumber comfortably for 18 months after delivery of the judgment against it and then ask that same be set aside.”

Blogger’s Note:

It is important that litigants should take heed of the above position of the law by ensuring that they follow up their cases in court by demanding for periodic updates from their legal representatives. This would cushion the effect of any pathetic development like we saw in the above case. It is bad to brief a lawyer about a case and then proceed to sleep all through.


Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has advised a number of both established and startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.

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