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FESTUS IBIDAPO ADESANOYE & ORS V. PRINCE FRANCIS GBADEBO ADEWOLE & ANOR

(2000) JELR 43864 (SC)

Supreme Court  •  SC.36/1998  •  19 May 2000  •  Nigeria

Coram
ABUBAKAR BASHIR WALI JSC; MICHAEL EKUNDAYO OGUNDARE JSC; EMMANUEL OBIOMA OGWUEGBU JSC; ANTHONY IKECHUKWU IGUH JSC; SAMSON ODEMWINGIE UWAIFO JSC;

Judgement

UWAIFO, J.S.C. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): This appeal deals with how to determine whether a statute is retrospective or prospective in operation and the effect thereof in relation to the facts of the present case. According to Driedger, Construction of Statutes page 186, there are three kinds of statutes that can be said to be retrospective, namely (a) statutes that attach benevolent consequences to a prior event (b) statutes that impose a penalty on a person who is described by reference to a prior event, but the penalty is not a consequence of the event; (c) statutes that attach prejudicial consequences to a prior event. It is said that it is the last that attracts the presumption against the retrospective operation of the law: see Understanding Statutes by Crabbe, 1994 edn., page 169. The learned author of Craies on Statute Law. 7th edn., page 387, relying on the definition by Sedgwick, says that a statute is to be deemed to be retrospective, which takes away or impairs any…

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