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Court determines live issues, not academic exercise – Rhodes-Vivour JSC

This testimony satisfies (2) and (3) above. The findings of the trial Tribunal affirmed by the Court of Appeal earlier alluded to are correct. By…

This testimony satisfies (2) and (3) above. The findings of the trial Tribunal affirmed by the Court of Appeal earlier alluded to are correct. By his own admission the appellant made it abundantly clear that his actions were contrary to the Regulation and circular of the Bank- exhibit FB45. In the circumstances the appellant is guilty of count 9.

Courts should on no account spend precious judicial time on issues that are academic. They should determine live issues, and those are issues that would meet the ends of justice. See
Oyeneye v. Odugbesan 1972 4 SC p.244
Bakare v. A.C.B. Ltd 1986 3NWLR pt.26 p.47
Nzon v. Jinadu 1987 1 NWLR pt.51 p.537
The only live issue in this appeal is whether the appellant granted unauthorized credit facility. He admitted it under cross-examination when he said:
“Yes I granted direct credit facility to the 3rd accused, while I was relief Manager of the branch. It was a regular practice of the bank to allow the 3rd accused direct credit facility. There was no formal authorization and I could not stop it……………”
To my mind that settles the live issue in this appeal. But it is important I address whether there was miscarriage of justice as contended by learned counsel for the appellant.
There is said to be miscarriage of justice or failure of justice when the judgment of the court is inconsistent or prejudicial to the right of the party concerned. It is failure on the part of the court to do justice. That is to say the court did what amounts to injustice.
Oladija sanusi v. Oreitan Ameyegun 1992 4 NWLR pt.237 p.527
Harrison Okonkwo & anor. V. Godwin Udoh 1997 9 NWLR pt.519 p. 16
Ojo v. O. Anibire & ors 2004 10NWLR pt.882 p.571
There is no miscarriage of justice where legislation states clearly that it is an offence to grant unauthorized credit and the appellant admitted that he granted unauthorized credit to one Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakar in the sum of N61, 075, 000. (six-one million, seventy-five thousand naira). The evidence against the appellant is one way and conclusive. The charge (count 9) was proved beyond reasonable doubt.
The defence of the appellant is that the 3rd accused had always enjoyed direct credit facility and that he could not stop the indulgence. The fact that this was going on does not make it right and the fact that officers of the bank responsible were not brought to book/charged does not make similar acts of granting unauthorized credit right.
This court does not upset concurrent findings of fact of the courts below except where:
(a)   the findings of fact are erroneous or perverse, and/or not based on evidence led.
(b)   where there has been in the course of trial some violation of some principle of law or procedure.
(c) there has been miscarriage of justice. See
Ogba v. State 1992 2 NWLR pt.222 p.164
Ogbu v. State 1992 8 NWLR pt.259 p.255
Dakolo y. Dakolo 2011 46 NSCQR p.669
The trial tribunal based on the admission of the appellant found and quite rightly too that he acting as a relief Manager of Allied Bank of Nigeria, Kano branch, granted unauthorized credit facility of N61, 075,000  to one Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakar, an act clearly in violation of the Rules and Regulations of the Bank (Exhibit FB45), thereby committing an offence under section 18 (1) (b) of the Banks and other Financial Institutions Decree No 25 of 1991.
The above was affirmed by the Court of Appeal. My lords, the fact that the appellant told the truth by admitting that he did grant unauthorized credit makes concurrent findings of the courts below correct. The findings are clearly not perverse.
There is no substance in this appeal. It is accordingly dismissed.

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