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  • 2002-09-16
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Daniyan v. Iyagin

DR. MICHAEL AYO DANIYAN

( In substitution for J. B. DANIYAN for himself and on

behalf of Eseyin-Moga and Atte-Mote families of Okenaun-Mopa)

S. O. OLORUNNISHOLA

( On behalf of Oniba family of Okenaun-Mopa )

V

MR. ELKENA OBA IYAGIN

OYI TRADITIONAL COUNCIL

YAGBA LOCAL GOVERNMENT

GOVERNMENT OF KOGI STATE

COURT OF APPEAL

( ABUJA DIVISION )

MOHAMMAD SAIFULLAHI MUNTAKA-COOMASSIE, JCA ( Presided )

ZAINAB ADAMU BULKACHUWA, JCA

ALBERT GBADEBO ODUYEMI, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

CA/A/70/2000

TUESDAY, 27TH NOVEMBER, 2001

ACTION - Declaratory action - Aim of - Usefulness of declaratory reliefs

ACTION - Representative action - Leave to sue thereon - Failure to obtain -  Whether vitiates the validity of action

ACTION - Representative action - Parties in representative action - Scope of

ACTION - Representative action - Requirement of leave to sue in representative capacity - Whether permissive or mandatory, Order 11  rule 8 of the High Court of Kogi State (Civil Procedure) Rules ACTION - Representative action - Substitution of one of the persons being represented for the original plaintiff - Effect of

ACTION - Representative action -Leave to sue thereon - Where not sought -  Circumstances under which leave will be presumed to have been given

APPEAL - Evaluation of evidence of trial court - When appeal court can interfere

APPEAL - Findings of fact of trial court - Attitude of appellate court thereto

CHIEFTAINCY MATTERS - Locus standi to sue in a chieftaincy matter Whether enough for plaintiff to state that he is a member of chietaincy family - Need for plaintiff to show his interest  in the chieftaincy title

COURT - Academic issues - Court to avoid entertaining

COURT - Locus standi - Determination of - Need for court to confine itself to the writ of summons and statement of claim only

COURT - Locus standi to sue - Plaintiff lacking standing to sue - Proper order for court to make

CUSTOMARY LAW - Custom - When need not be pleaded and proved When necessary to so do

CUSTOMARY LAW - Custom which is repugnant to equity and good conscience - Attitude of court thereto

EVIDENCE - Evidence called by one of the parties found not to be of any probative value - Duty of a reasonable tribunal to reject same

LOCUS STANDI -  Determination of - Need for court to confine itself to the writ of summons and statement of claim only

LOCUS STANDI - Determination of in chieftaincy matter - Whether enough for plaintiff to state that he is a member of a chieftaincy family - Need for plaintiff to show his interest  in the chieftaincy title

LOCUS STANDI - Locus standi to sue in a chieftaincy matter - Whether enough for plaintiff to state that he is a member of chietaincy family - Need for plaintiff to show his interest  in the chieftaincy title

LOCUS STANDI - Plaintiff lacking  locus standi in an action - Proper order to make

LOCUS STANDI - Proof of - On whom lies

PLEADINGS - General denial - A statement in the statement of defence that the defendant denies certain paragraphs of the statement of claim and puts the plaintiff to the strictest proof thereof - Whether amounts to joining of issues

PLEADINGS - Pleaded facts not admitted - Duty of plaintiff to call evidence in proof of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Locus standi - Determination of - Need for court to confine itself to the writ of summons and statement of claim only

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Locus standi to sue - Plaintiff not having -  Proper order for court to make

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Interest’ - What amounts to as relates to the applicant and the matter of application in instant case WORDS AND PHRASES - Locus standi - Meaning of

Issues:

1.            Whether the 1st and 2nd plaintiffs have locus standi to prosecute the claim in representative capacities as claimed.

2.            Whether the lower court made a proper evaluation of the evidence.

Facts:

At the Lokoja Judicial Division of the former High Court of Kwara State, now Kogi State, the then 1st appellant, as 1st plaintiff, (now deceased) for himself and on behalf of Eseyin-Moga and Atte Mota families of Okenaun Mopa, while the 2nd appellant, as 2nd plaintiff on behalf of Omba families of Okenaun-Mopa claimed from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4 th respondents, as defendants for declaratory reliefs and injunction, amongst others, a declaration that the purported appointment of the 1st respondent as OTUNBA OF MOPA in Yagba Local Government Area based on the recommendation of Oyi Traditional Council and contained in a letter ref. YAG/LGE/1/30 written by the Sole Administrator, Yagba Local

Government, Isanlu is ultra vires, illegal and contrary to the custom of Mopa Community relating to such an appointment and therefore null and void.

Before hearing of the substantive action commenced, the then 1st plaintiff had died.  He was substituted in the same representative capacity by the present 1st appellant by order of the lower court.  The application for substitution was not opposed by any of the respondents.  In consequence, further amendments were made to the amended statement of claim.

At the end of the trial, the lower court refused the reliefs claimed by the appellants and dismissed their claims.

Being dissatisfied with the judgment, the appellants, appealed to the Court of Appeal.