The court considered an application for a stay of execution of judgment pending appeal, in circumstances where the applicant disputed the ownership of various plots of land due to fraud.
The court held that an application for stay of execution must first be made informally and heard by the court that rendered the original judgment. An applicant can only apply for a stay of execution directly to the Court of Appeal in special circumstances that require the court to maintain the status quo pending an appeal, such as where the High Court has made an error of law of fact or has been unable to deal with the application in good time, to the prejudice of the parties to the suit. In the absence of one of these exceptions, an application for a stay must be made to the court who delivered the original decision, in this case the High Court.
An application for a stay of execution of judgment must demonstrate that irreparable damage will occur if it is not granted, and must be made in good faith.
Lastly, an application for a stay of execution must attach a copy of the judgment so that the court is aware of the date of the judgment, to ensure it decides the matter timeously and so the court can be aware of the merits of the appeal. A court will draw an adverse inference for a failure to attach a judgment.
The court dismissed the application for a stay in this matter.