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  • 2002-08-19
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Adeleke v. Raji

ALHAJA SARATU ADELEKE

V

ALHAJA MORINATU RAJI

RAIMI RAJI

SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

SALIHU MODIBBO ALFA BELGORE, JSC ( Presided )

EMANUEL OBIOMA OGWUEGBU, JSC UTHMAN MOHAMMED, JSC

SAMSON ODEMWINGIE UWAIFO, JSC

AKINTOLA OLUFEMI EJIWUNMI, JSC ( Read the Lead Judgment )

SC. 55/1996

FRIDAY, 21ST JUNE, 2002

APPEAL - Court of Appeal - Whether can take points suo motu - Discretion thereof to take points suo motu - How to be exercised

APPEAL - Trial court - Question decided by trial court - Party seeking to have same resolved by the appellate court - Duty of to file grounds of appeal germane to issues properly raised thereon

COURT - Court of Appeal - Whether can take points suo motu - Discretion thereof to take points suo motu - How to be exercised

COURT - Order of non-suit, strike out or retrial - Court making same Need therefor to hear address of parties before making

COURT - Trial court - Question decided by trial court - Party seeking to have same resolved by the appellate court - Duty of to file grounds of appeal germane to issues properly raised thereon

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Order of non-suit, strike out or retrial Court making same - Need therefor to hear address of parties before making

Issue:

Whether the court below was right to have struck out the respondents’ case.

Facts:

The plaintiffs commenced this action against the defendant for a declaration of title to statutory right of occupancy in respect of a piece of land. At the conclusion of trial but in the course of  closing his address, counsel for the plaintiff sought leave to amend his pleadings by changing title of the action in relation to the 1st plaintiff by adding “for herself and on behalf of Oyinade section of Raji Adewale family; defence counsel opposed the application but court granted the amendment.

The trial court thereafter found for the plaintiffs that they were in possession of the land, he dismissed their claim for special damages and awarded general damages for trespass committed on the land.

Dissatisfied, the defendant appealed to the Court of Appeal against the order granting the amendment and the judgment. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and ordered that plaintiffs’ claim be struck out. Both parties were dissatisfied with the judgment and orders of the Court of appeal, they therefore appealed to the Supreme Court.