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  • 2002-08-05
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Adaka v. Anekwe

PIUS ADAKA

ONWUMERE OSU

JONATHAN UKEJE

ANENE ONUNUJU

( For themselves and on behalf of the people of EMEHABA Family of Umuopia, Akokwa)

ALOYSIUS NGAWUCHI

GABRIEL CHUKWU

PETER NWOSU

PETER ASOGWO

EMMANUEL AKABOGU

REGINA NWOSU

DAVID UME

UME UKEJE

UBA UZOGBERE

CLEMENT UKACHI

ALOYSIUS NNAGBORO

EVARIST AKOGHERE

DOMINIC OSUIGWE

OGBUKAGU MBAKWE

SILAS UKEJE

ALPHONSUS OSUEKE

NNANNA USUEKE

FABIAN ONWUACHU ( alias “ACHARA” )

FIDELIS UKACHI

CHUKWUMA OKEKE

V

CHRISTOPHER ANEKWE

EMMANUEL EZEALA

SAMUEL ONUOHA

( Substituted for Richard Agodi and Benjamin Onyekanma).  By order of the Court of Appeal on 3/5/95)

[ For themselves and on behalf of the people of

Umudike, Uzii]

SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

IDRIS LEGBO KUTIGI, JSC (Presided)

MICHAEL EKUNDAYO OGUNDARE, JSC

SYLVESTER UMARU ONU, JSC

ANTHONY IKECHUKWU IGUH, JSC

UMARU ATU KALGO, JSC ( Read the Lead Judgment )

SC.56/1997

FRIDAY, 7TH JUNE, 2002

INJUNCTION - Mandatory and restrictive injunction - Applicable law for the enforcement thereof - Whether changed by the Supreme Court’s decisions in Uhumwangbo and Hart cases

INJUNCTION - Mandatory and restrictive injunction - Enforcement thereof

-  Relevant law

Issues:

1.            Whether the Court of Appeal was right in holding that the Supreme Court had by its decision in Osayande Uhunwangbo vs. P. I. Okojie & anor. (1989) 5  NWLR (Pt. 126) 276 changed the law as to the enforcement of mandatory and restrictive injunctions and in failing to apply the said decisions to the present matter so as to hold that foreign rules of court were not applicable to this matter.

2.            Whether the Court of Appeal was right in holding that Order 42  rule 7 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of England  1956 was applicable to the application for committal before the trial court in this matter by virtue of section 16 of the High Court Law of Eastern Nigeria, 1963, and in ordering the remittal of the application for committal to the trial court of hearing on the merits under the said foreign court rules.

3.            Whether the Court of Appeal was right in holding that the leave of the trial court was not required before commencing committal proceedings against the 5th - 24th appellants who were not named defendants in suit No. HOR/8/74.

4.            Whether the Court of Appeal was right in holding that the appellants abandoned their ground of objection in the trial court and raised new issues before it.

Facts:

The respondents, as plaintiffs, in the trial court instituted this action on a representative capacity for an injunction and damages for trespass against the defendants/appellants.  The trial court at the conclusion of trial entered judgment for the respondents.  Aggrieved, the appellants appealed to the Court of Appeal.  The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and dismissed the respondents’ claim.  The respondents appealed to the Supreme Court.  Subsequently, both parties settled their dispute out of court and drew up the terms of settlement which became the order and judgment of the Supreme Court.  Thereafter, there was an alleged disobedience of the order by the appellants.

The respondents therefore commenced committal proceedings against the appellants for disobedience to the terms of settlement agreed to between the parties and made an order and judgment of the Supreme Court.  The appellants raised a preliminary objection to the application for the alleged contempt.  The trial court heard counsel for the parties on the objection and overruled it.  The court therefore ordered that the committal application be heard on merit.

Dissatisfied, the appellants appealed against this order to the Court of Appeal.  The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and remitted the committal application to the trial court for hearing on its merit.  The appellants further appealed to the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court however considered whether the decisions of the Supreme Court in the cases of Uhunwangbo vs. Okojie and Hart vs. Hart had changed the law as to the enforcement of mandatory and restrictive injunction.