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  • Tangale Traditional Council v. Fawu
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  • 2002-08-26
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Tangale Traditional Council v. Fawu

TANGALE TRADITIONAL COUNCIL

V

ALHAJI ALHASSAN MOHAMMED FAWU

ATTORNEY GENERAL, GOMBE STATE

COURT OF APPEAL

( JOS DIVISION )

A. M. MUKHTAR, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

ISA ABUBAKAR MANGAJI, JCA

IFEYINWA CECILIA NZEAKO, JCA

CA/J/21/99

MONDAY, 30TH APRIL, 2001

APPEAL - Brief of argument - Reply brief - Failure to file same within time -  Effect

APPEAL - Fresh issue on appeal - Raising same without leave - Impropriety of - Effect

CHIEFTAINCY MATTER - Locus standi in respect of - Party claiming in chieftaincy matter - What same must show to establish his locus standi

COURT - Appellate court - Attitude of to inadmissible evidence admitted by the lower court

COURT - Appellate court - When same will interfere with the findings of lower court

COURT - Documents placed before the court - Duty of to consider and evaluate same in the interest of justice

COURT - Trial Judge - Duty of while evaluating evidence

COURT - Whether can embark on a voyage of discovery on its own - Need for to apply itself to the issue submitted to it by parties

DOCUMENT - Document placed before the court - Duty of court to consider and evaluate same in the interest of justice

DOCUMENTS - Admissibility of - Whether contents of need be specifically pleaded to make same admissible

EVIDENCE - Admissibility - Inadmissible evidence admitted by the lower court - Attitude of appellate court thereto

EVIDENCE - Burden of proof - On whom lies - Whether same can shift

EVIDENCE - Document - where already admitted - and marked as exhibit -  Whether can be expunged from record

EVIDENCE - Documentary evidence - Where already admitted - Whether objection against same will be refused

EVIDENCE - Documents - Admissibility of - Whether contents of need be specifically pleaded to make same admissible

INTERPRETATION - ‘Words’ - Need to give correct meaning of while determining the intendment of a law or purported law

LOCUS STANDI - Definition of

PLEADINGS - Averments in pleadings - Need for to contain facts only

PLEADINGS - Bindingness of on parties - Effect of unpleaded facts

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Clan’ - Meaning of

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Consider’ - Meaning of

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Locus standi’ - Meaning of WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Recommendation’ - Meaning of

Issues:

1.            Whether the plaintiff lacks the locus standi to institute this

action.

2.            Whether the lower court was right in law in nullifying the relevant legislation solely on the ground that it is the certified True Copy that was received in evidence and not the original copy.

3.            Whether the lower court should not have expunged exhibits AH which were admitted inadvertently.

4.            Whether the plaintiff proved his case in accordance with the law to entitle him to judgment.

Facts:

The plaintiff filed a civil action against the defendant/appellant at the Gombe State High Court seeking declaratory reliefs in respect of exclusion from and determination of the eligibility of the plaintiff to contest for the chieftaincy of Tangale as well as a declaration nullifying the document issued by Tangale Traditional Council excluding him from contesting for the chieftaincy of Tangale.

The plaintiff asserted that the Tangale community is made of clans/ villages with each clan/village having its own clan/village head until the various village were unified under one village head, the position his ancestor, Galadima Ila occupied from 1906-1907. The plaintiff’s father contested for the cheiftaincy of Tangale in 1951 but he lost. The plaintiff’s attempt to contest the chieftaincy of Tangale in 1997 met a brick wall as he was excluded from contesting by a letter written by Tangale/Waja Emirate/Traditional Council.

The defendant/appellant denied most of the plaintiff’s averments and stated further that the plaintiff’s father was excluded from contesting for the chieftaincy of Tangale because upon investigation he was found not to belong to the Tangale ruling House.

After the exchange of pleadings, witnesses gave evidence which were appraised. After the review of partie evidence and addresses of their counsel, the trial court gave judgment in favour of the plaintiff. Dissatisfied with the said judgment, the defendants brought this appeal.