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  • Consolidated Breweries Plc v. Aisowieren
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  • 2002-08-19
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Consolidated Breweries Plc v. Aisowieren

CONSOLIDATED BREWERIES PLC

DELE ADIGWE

V

JOSHUA A. AISOWIEREN

COURT OF APPEAL

( BENIN DIVISION )

NIKI TOBI, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

BABA ALKALI BA’ABA, JCA

KUMAI BAYANG AKAAHS, JCA

CA/B/204/98

MONDAY, 11TH JUNE, 2001

APPEAL - Issues for determination - Proliferation of - Attitude of court to

APPEAL - Issues for determination - Where two or more issues are argued together - Effect - Likely inference to be drawn thereby COURT - Issues for determination - Proliferation of - Attitude of court to

COURT - Special damages - Insufficient proof of - Whether court can remedy same

DAMAGES - General damages - Nature of

DAMAGES - Negligence - Accidented vehicle - Where held to be beyond repairs - Inference to be drawn from the repair of - how to make a reasonable assessment of damages for such repairs

DAMAGES - Special damages - How to plead and prove - Need to allege with particularity - Effect of failure to particularise - Rationale for particularising

DAMAGES - Special damages - Need to prove strictly - Whether court can remedy insufficient proof of

DOCUMENT - Where vital to a case - Need to plead same

EVIDENCE - Documentary evidence - Where vital to a case - Need to plead same - Evidential nature of documents

EVIDENCE - Inconsistent statements - Effect of - How to regard a witness who makes inconsistent statements

EVIDENCE - Interested person - Statements made by when proceedings are pending or anticipated - How construed - Section 91(3) of the Evidence Act, 1990

EVIDENCE - ‘Interested’ within the meaning of section 91(3) of the Evidence Act, 1990 - Definition of

EVIDENCE - Negligence - Accidented vehicle - Where held to be beyond repairs - Inference to be drawn from the repair of - How to make a reasonable assessment of damages for such repairs

EVIDENCE - Pleadings - Evidence not borne out from pleadings - Effect  - Need for parties to be bound by their pleadings

EVIDENCE - Section 149(d) of the Evidence Act - How applied

EVIDENCE - Unchallenged evidence - The general rule on - Exceptions thereto

EVIDENCE - Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO) - Nature of the evidence of -  Whether an expert witness

EVIDENCE - Witness - How to regard a witness who makes inconsistent statements in court - Effect of inconsistent statements of a witness

NEGLIGENCE - Admission of negligence - Proof of special damages arising from negligence - Difference between

PLEADINGS - Pleadings - Evidence not borne out from pleadings - Effect -  Need for parties to be bound by their pleadings

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Interested person - Statements made by when proceedings are pending or anticipated - How construed Section 91(3) of the Evidence Act, 1990

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Issues - Where two or more are argued together - Effect - Likely inference to be drawn thereby - Attitude of court to proliferation of issues

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Motion - Effect of filing without moving

it

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Pleadings - Evidence not borne out from -  Effect - Need for parties to be bound by their pleadings

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Unchallenged evidence - The general rule on - Exceptions thereto

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Witness - How to regard a witness who make inconsistent statements in court -  Effect of inconsistent statements of a witness

STATUTE -  Evidence Act, 1990, section 149(d)  - How applied

STATUTE -  Evidence Act, Section 91(3) - How construed - Scope of

TORT -  Negligence - Accidented vehicle - Where held to be beyond repairs -  Inference to be drawn from the repair of - How to make a reasonable assessment of damages for such repairs

TORT - Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO) - Nature of the evidence of - Whether an expert witness

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Interested’ within the meaning of section

91(3)  of the Evidence Act, 1990  - Meaning of

Issues:

1.            Whether the trial Judge properly evaluated and appraised the evidence before him in arriving at his conclusions and final judgment.

2.            Whether the reliefs sought were rightly granted in the circumstances of this case.

3.            Whether the award of N30,000.00 as general damages by the trial Judge can rightly be construed as double compensation.

4.            What is the legal effect of a clear abandonment of pleadings and oral evidence by the appellants as in this case?

Facts:

The plaintiff/respondent sued the defendants/appellants claiming special and general damages for injuries and losses following from a motor accident involving the vehicles of the parties. The defendants admitted liability for negligence and offered no evidence in rebuttal of the plaintiff’s case. The defendants however contended at the trial court that despite their concession on the issue of negligence the plaintiff was not entitled to the reliefs claimed. The learned trial Judge entered judgment in favour of the plaintiff and awarded various sums of money as special and general damages. Dissatisfied, the defendants brought this appeal. The Court of Appeal considered some relevant provisions of the Evidence Act, particularly section 91(3) which provides as follows:

“Nothing in this section shall render admissible as evidence any statement made by a person interested at a time when proceedings were pending or anticipated involving a dispute as to any fact which the statement might tend to establish.”