Ariori v. Elemo
The main issue which gave rise to this appeal was that the delay in considering and delivering judgment by the trial judge affected this judgment and constituted a breach of the fair hearing provision of Section 22 of the 1963 constitution, No.20.
The case itself was filed in the high court of Lagos State on 15th October, 1960, and was fixed for hearing for 18th November, 1964 (after all preliminaries which included filing and settling of pleadings and substitution of parties for those that died during the pendency of the case was done). From March 1966 until 1st March, 1972, the case dragged on, beset with one application or the other and adjournments…on 3rd October, 15 month before the close of the case (which was 3 years and seven months after Beckley J. took the first evidence in the case) the learned trial judge delivered his judgment dismissing the pff’s claim. The plaintiff appealed against the decision on the ground that the learned trial judge took a long time after the conclusion of the case before he delivered judgment. On appeal, the respondent’s contention was that the appellants had waived their right to a speedy trial because most of the adjournments had been at the instance of the parties.
The Supreme Court held per Eso JSC that human rights can never be waived nor compromised. As the learned trial judge had failed to make use of the opportunity he had of giving the case a proper trial, the order must be that there should be a retrial before another judge.
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