This appeal was against the ruling of the High Court in which the appellant's application for joinder of the second respondent as a party to the proceedings was declined. This followed, the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development’s decision to cancel the petroleum exploration issued to the Appellant in respect to Block 31. The appellant appealed the decision of the minister to the High Court and whilst the appeal was pending, Block 31 was re-advertised by the minister and a licence was issued to the second respondent. This prompted the appellants to make an application for an order for joinder of the second respondent to the proceedings.
The court had to decide whether the joinder was necessary and whether the lower court had erred in its findings.
The court held that for a party to be joined to the proceedings it must either be a person who may be entitled to, or claim some interest in the subject matter of the suit or who may likely be affected by the result or outcome of the suit.
The cancellation of the appellant’s licence and the granting of a licence to the second respondent, related to the same subject matter, being Block 31. This gave the second respondent sufficient interest in the matter and was likely to be affected by the outcome of the decision in the court below.
The appeal was consequently allowed.