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Kwada v. Zira

EMOS KWADA

V

YAKUBU ZIRA

DAUDA ZIRA

YOHANNA ZIRA

PETER ZIRA

JOHN ZIRA

GARBA BUBA

YOHANNA NDA

TERI TERI

COURT OF APPEAL

( JOS DIVISION )

IBRAHIM TANKO MUHAMMAD, JCA ( Presided )

OLUDADE OLADAPO OBADINA, JCA

IFEYINWA CECILIA NZEAKO, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

CA/J/92/94

TUESDAY, 19TH FEBRUARY, 2002

APPEAL - Grounds of appeal - Issues not raised before trial court - Whether can be entertained by appellate court

APPEAL - Grounds of appeal - Need for ground to be based on decision challenged

APPEAL - Jurisdiction of Court of Appeal vis-a-vis decision of Area Court -  Extent of

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Basis for judgment - Consideration of material facts pleaded and proved at the trial

JURISDICTION - Jurisdiction of court - Jurisdiction not conferred by law -  Whether can be assumed

LAND LAW - Possession - Claim for - How to defeat same

LAND LAW - Ownership of land - Five ways of proving same

LAND LAW - Trespass - What plaintiff must prove to succeed in an action therefor

Issues:

1.            Whether the proceedings of the trial Upper Area Court as confirmed by High Court Michika does not offend against the appellant’s fair hearing and occasioned a miscarriage of justice.

2.            Whether, having regard to the state of facts available before the court the appellate High Court was right to have concluded that the land subject of dispute is a family land under Wuro Ngayadi culture.

3.            Whether respondents were entitled to judgment.

Facts:

The appellant herein, as plaintiff, filed an action at Upper Area Court, Michika against the respondents herein, as defendants, claiming declaration of title, trespass and injunction in respect of the land lying at Wuro Nayadi, Madagali Local Government, Adamawa State.

The plaintiff at the Upper Area Court claimed to have purchased the land in dispute from Iliya as evidenced by a purchase receipt and alienation certificate.  The said sale was in fact witnessed by the village head, Lawan while the defendants asserted that Iliya who sold the land to the plaintiff is a member of their extended family having the same grandfather with them. It was further asserted that Iliya had no authority to sell the land when the family members were not consulted.  When the defendants sued Iliya afer the discovery of the sale, he confessed that he made a mistake.

The trial Upper Area Court Judge held that the sale was void.  The plaintiff being displeased with the said decision filed an appeal at the High Court of Adamawa State.  The learned appellate Judges of the High Court held that if the land did not belong to Iliya, he passes no title to the plaintiff/ appellant.  The appellate High Court Judges stated further that the root of title vested on members of the family not Iliya who under native law and custom of Wuro Ngayadi cannot pass any such legal title.  The appeal was therefore dismissed.

The plaintiff/appellant being dissatisfied with the decision of the Appellate High Court Judges brought this appeal.