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  • Chindo World Wide Ltd v. Total Nig. Plc.
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  • 2002-08-12
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Chindo World Wide Ltd v. Total Nig. Plc.

CHINDO WORLD WIDE LTD.

V

TOTAL NIGERIA PLC

COURT OF APPEAL

( BENIN DIVISION )

NIKI TOBI, JCA ( Presided )

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

KUMAI BAYANG AKAAHS, JCA

CA/B/144/98

THURSDAY, 5TH JULY, 2001 

ACTION - Counter-claim - Nature of

APPEAL - Evaluation of evidence - Findings of fact based on the demeanour of witnesses - Whether Court of Appeal can interfere with

BANKING - Bank teller - Proof of lodgment of money into bank account by -  Whether conclusive proof of such lodgment

COURT - Court of Appeal - Whether can interfere with findings of fact of trial court based on the demeanour of witnesses

DAMAGES - General damages - Nature of

DAMAGES - Special damages - Nature of - Need to plead, particularise and prove

EVIDENCE - Admissions - Whether admitted facts need proof

EVIDENCE - Bank teller - Whether a bank teller indicating lodgment of money into a person’s account is conclusive proof of payment into the person’s account

EVIDENCE - Burden of proof - On whom rests - When it shifts

EVIDENCE - Documents - Contents of - Type of evidence required to prove

EVIDENCE - Evaluation of evidence - Findings of fact based on the demeanour of witnesses - Whether Court of Appeal can interfere with

EVIDENCE - Extrinsic evidence - Whether admissible to vary or contradict written agreement

EVIDENCE - Proof of lodgment of money into a bank account by production of bank teller - Whether conclusive proof of payment into the account

EVIDENCE - Where plaintiff fails to prove his claim - Proper order to make

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Judgment -  Need to confine to issues formulated by parties - Incompetence of trial court to make a case different from that of the parties

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Where plaintiff fails to prove his claim Proper order to make

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Admissions - Whether admitted facts need proof

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Civil cases - Contestation of on basis of issues as settled in the pleadings

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Evaluation of evidence - Findings of fact based on the demeanour of witnesses - Whether Court of Appeal can interfere with

Issues:

1.            Whether exhibit ‘A’ constituted a prima facie proof that the appellant paid the sum of N1,680,000.00 to the respondent for the supply of petroleum products.

2.            Whether the learned trial court correctly placed the onus of proving the payment of N1,680,000.00 on the appellant.

3.            Whether on the evidence before the court, the respondent/crossappellant established its counter-claim for the sum of N2,511,667.20.

Facts:

The plaintiff/appellant sued the defendant/respondent/cross-appellant claiming damages for breach of contract of specific performance. The defendant counter-claimed for special damages based on fraud. A brief summary of the facts gathered from the pleadings and evidence of the parties shows that plaintiff ordered for the supply of petroleum products from the defendant, and purportedly paid for the order in the sum of N1,680,000.00 by making a cash deposit into defendant’s account with Afribank Plc. The alleged payment was evidenced by bank tellers, exhibit ‘A’, brought to the defendant by plaintiff’s agent. Defendant supplied part of the order relying on exhibit ‘A’. Thereafter, defendant’s auditors found that exhibit ‘A’ was a forged document, and that the plaintiff did not make the alleged payment into defendant’s account.

The defendant initiated criminal investigation into the transactions. But the plaintiff, on his own part, commenced this action. At the conclusion of evidence, the learned trial Judge dismissed plaintiff’s claims, but entered judgment to the defendant/counter-claimant for part of the claims proved by admission. Dissatisfied, the parties filed this appeal and cross-appeal, respectively.