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UAC of Nigeria Plc. v. Irole

UAC OF NIGERIA PLC

V

MADAM IKOLE IROLE

COURT OF APPEAL

( BENIN DIVISION )

SUNDAY AKINOLA AKINTAN, JCA ( Presided )

BABA ALKALI BA’ABA, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

SAKA ADEYEMI IBIYEYE, JCA

CA/B/224/98

FRIDAY, 12TH MAY, 2000

COURT - Appellate court - When appellate court may re-evaluate evidence adduced before the trial court

COURT - Damages awarded by a lower court - When appellate court will interfere therewith

DAMAGES - Damages awarded by a lower court - When appellate court will interfere therewith

DAMAGES - Origin of damages - Award of damages - Principles of law guiding same

DAMAGES - Special and general damages - Distinction between - Need to aver both arms of damages

EVIDENCE - Evaluation of evidence - Evidence adduced before trial court

-  When appellate court can re-evaluate

Issue:

Whether the learned trial Judge is right in his decision.

Facts:

The plaintiff/respondent filed an action at Warri High Court against the defendant/appellant seeking N5,000,000.00 as general damages as a result of the injuries she sustained from an accident involving her canoe and the defendant’s/appellant’s tugboat negligently driven by its staff leading to amputation of her leg.

The plaintiff/respondent  in the early hours of 25th October, 1993 set out in a canoe with her items of trade and wares from Oberada to Ekenwan to sell  them.  According to her, she made sure the canoe was fit and save as well as putting up a light for other users of the waterways.  She asserted further that at a point about the Dolofa river, the appellant by its staff negligently, recklessly and without due care for the plaintiff or other road users drove the tugboat in such a manner that its propeller blade cut her two legs.  The defendant/appellant however, denied the plaintiff’s averment and asserted that in fact the accident occurred  due to the plaintiff’s negligence and recklessness.

After the conclusion of hearing and addresses of counsel, the learned trial Judge, Obi J. gave judgment against the defendant and awarded the sum of N3,000,000.00 as well as N2,000.00 cost in favour of the plaintiff.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, the defendant/appellant brought this appeal.