The principle of “Slip Rule” by Saheed Afeez Ayinde

The principle of “Slip Rule” – Saheed Afeez Ayinde – Deemlawful

No doubt, the pronouncement of the Judge presiding over any case is not in anyway comparable to ordinary words. It is a Holy pronouncement that determine the fate of the parties to any litigation.

This pronouncement/judgement is a carefully one-time made and cannot be vary by the same Judge. Hence, the judge is said to be functus officio and such judge has no power to review his pronouncement/judgement.

However, where arise a clerical mistakes, slip or omission during the pronouncement, the remedy of Slip Rule shall come in to force as aptly noted by the court below.


Per Ogundare JSC

when in Olurotimi v. Ige (1993) 8
N.W.L.R. (Part 311) 257 at 274 he said:–
“The power of a Judge to amend his judgment is limited only to where there is a clerical mistake in the judgment or order, or an error arising from an accidental slip or omission. And the inherent power of a court to vary its own orders relate only to where it is necessary to carry out its own meaning and to make its meaning plain.

It has also been noted by his lordship Akpata JCA (as he then was), in the case of NICON v. P.I.E. Co Ltd (1990) 1
N.W.L.R. (Part 129) 697 had this to say at 708:–
“It must also be made clear that a Judge, after making an order or giving a judgment, becomes functus officio, and has no power to review such order or judgment, except in cases of corrections of mistakes or accidental slips. Under the principle of ‘Slip-Rule’ the court has power to amend its own judgment so as to correct and bring the judgment to carry out the meaning which the court intended. Such amendment would, however, be improper if it has the effect of varying a judgment or order which correctly represents what the court decided.

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