Dispute Resolution Litigaship Series Nigerian Law Procedural Law


Simply put, a perverse decision arises where a court or tribunal arrives at a decision to which no reasonable tribunal could have come based on the evidence before it. A decision can also be considered to be perverse when there is some conscious violation of a rule of law or of procedure. This is different from an erroneous decision which is one rendered according to the course and practice of court, but contrary to law, upon mistaken view of law, or upon erroneous application of legal principles.

The Supreme Court of Nigeria in the case of ABDULLAHI & Ors v. ADETUTU (2020) 35 WRN 90, page 108, per Nweze JSC gave specific instances where a decision can be said to be perverse as follows:

“As it is well-known, a decision is said to be perverse:
a) when it runs counter to the evidence; or
b) where it has been shown that the trial court took into account matters which it ought not to have taken into account or shut its eyes o the obvious; or
c) when it has occasioned a miscarriage of justice.”

See also the recent case of WILLBROS WEST AFRICA, INC. & ORS v. MCDONNEL CONTRACT MINING LTD (2021) LPELR-54544 (CA).

Wale Adeagbo AICMC
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Attorney.

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