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Lawal v. Oke

HAMZA LAWAL

OBA SAMUEL BANUSO

(The Oloja of Igbesa)

V

KAFARU OKE

AKIN FAGBEYI

BALOGUN IDOWU

SUNDAY IDOWU

AKINDELE GBADAMOSI

COURT OF APPEAL

( IBADAN DIVISION )

MORONKEJI O. ONALAJA, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

FRANCIS FEDODE TABAI, JCA

OLUFUNMILOLA OYELOLA ADEKEYE, JCA

CA/I/41/95

THURSDAY, 18TH JANUARY, 2001

ACTION - Condition precedent to an action - Nature of - Importance of

ACTION - Institution of action - Where a statute provides for resort to administrative remedy before instituting an action - Failure to exhaust same - Effect

COURT - Competence of - Determination of in an action

COURT - Duty of to avoid undue technicality

COURT - Jurisdiction of court - Condition precedent to exercise of  - When objection as to non-compliance therewith is raised - Duty of court

COURT - Proceedings of - When same may be attacked - Whether every defect in procedure is always fatal to the proceeding

INTERPRETATION OF STATUTE - Clear and unambiguous words of a statute - How same should be interpreted

JURISDICTION - Action based on lack of jurisdiction - Effect of

JURISDICTION - Issue of jurisdiction - Whether can be raised and challenged at any stage of proceedings

JURISDICTION - Jurisdiction of court - Importance of

LEGAL PRACTITIONERS - Writing bad and inelegant brief by Legal Practitioners - Whether calls for continuing legal education

PLEADINGS - Functions of - Bindingness of on both parties and the court

PLEADINGS - Importance of - Need for to clearly state its purport

PLEADINGS - Inelegantly drafted pleadings - Legal effect of - Whether plaintiff claiming as per writ of summons can amount to substantial miscarriage of justice being a procedural irregularity or a mere lazy way of pleading that should be discouraged

PLEADINGS - Statement of claim - Consequential relief claimed as an additional claim therein - Effect of on special relief claimed in the writ vis-a-vis the fact that statement of claim supersedes the writ of

summons

PLEADINGS - Statement of claim - Whether supersedes the writ of summons -  Whether amplifies through facts averred the real action a party pursues

PLEADINGS - The word ‘material’ in relation to pleadings - Meaning thereof

PLEADINGS - Whether can be pleaded

PLEADINGS - Writ of summons - Statement of claim - Relationship there between

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Undue technicality - Duty on court to avoid same and adhere to doing substantial justice

WORDS AND PHRASES - The word ‘material’ in relation to pleadings Meaning thereof

Issues:

1.            Whether there was any competent claim before the court in that respondents, under the rules of pleading, filed a statement of claim wherein by its paragraph 36, they pleaded thus: “WHEREOF plaintiffs’ claim as per their writ of summons.”

2.            Whether the respondents’ case ought to have been adjudicated upon when the respondents have not complied with appealing to the commissioner in charge of Chieftaincy Affairs Ogun State before institution of this case.

Facts:

The plaintiffs/respondents in the High Court of Ogun State sitting at Ilaro Judicial Division filed a suit against the defendants/appellants seeking court’s declaration that the Ogunya Descendants are the only family entitled to the Baaleship of Imose Village; that the 4th plaintiff/respondent is the right person duly nominated to be the Baale of Imose village; that the 1st defendant/appellant is not the Baale of Imose; injunctive order restraining the 1st defendant/appellant from parading himself as Baale of Imose Village; and that the fourth (4th) plaintiff/respondent should be installed by the 2nd defendant/appellant as Baale of Imose village.

Pleadings were exchanged and trial was conducted whereby witnesses testified for the parties. At the conclusion of hearing and addresses of their counsels, the learned trial court gave judgment in favour of the plaintiffs/ respondents as per their writ of summons.

Being dissatisfied with the said judgment, the defendants/appellants have filed this appeal challenging the trial court’s decision.