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  • 2002-09-23
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A. G. Leventis Nig. Plc. v. Akpu

A. G. LEVENTIS NIG. PLC.
 VS.
CHIEF CHRISTIAN AKPU
COURT OF APPEAL
(ENUGU DIVISION)

EUGENE CHUKWUEMEKA UBAEZONU, JCA (Presided)
JOHN AFOLABI FABIYI, JCA
MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD, JCA (Read the Lead Judgment)
CA/E/101/2000
TUESDAY, 3RD JULY, 2001
APPEAL - Issues for determination on appeal - Proliferation of - Negative consequences of - Need for counsel to gear efforts towards formation of issues
COURT - Appellate court - When will interfere with award of damages by lower court
DAMAGES - ‘General damages’ - Meaning of
DAMAGES - ‘Special damages’ - Meaning of
DAMAGES - Award of by lower court - When appellate court will interfere with
DAMAGES - Award of damages by trial court - Sustainability or otherwise of - Need for appeal court to consider claim and evidence led
DAMAGES - Award of for breach of contract - Need for court to award only ones resulting from breach
DAMAGES - Damage in tort and for breach of contract - Rule governing award of
DAMAGES - Damages for breach of contract - Need for to be one reasonably contemplated at the formation of contract by parties
DAMAGES - Special damages - Need for to be specifically pleaded and strictly proved
DAMAGES - Special damages - Unchallenged claim relating thereto Evidence thereon - Need for court to expressly act thereupon
EVIDENCE - Documentary evidence - Secondary evidence of - Admissibility of  - Need to lay proper foundation before tendering same - Section 96, Evidence Act
EVIDENCE - Evidence on unchallenged claim relating to special damages
- Need for court to expressly act upon it
EVIDENCE - Proof - Whether facts admitted need further proof
JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Judgment not perverse but based on subsisting credible evidence - Whether can be set aside for being based largely on inadmissible document
PLEADINGS - Documentary evidence - Whether to be specifically pleaded where facts forming basis of already pleaded - Order 9 rule 4, Anambra State High Court Civil Procedure Rules
PLEADINGS - Essence of - Need for parties to properly define claim and defence intended upon pleading - Effect of defence not pleaded
WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘General damages’ - Meaning of
WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Special damages’ - Meaning of
Issues:
Whether the various heads of damages awarded by the lower court is sustainable in law.
Facts:
The respondent at the lower court claimed against the defendant the sum of N2.0 million as the cost of replacement of his 500 SEL Mercedes
Benz car destroyed by the defendant. He also claimed the sum of N500 per day from 28th January 1993 till the date of judgment as the cost of chattering vehicle for his movement. The sum of N1.0 million was also claimed by the plaintiff as general damages for emotional distress, financial and social disabilities.
The plaintiff had delivered the Benz car with registration No. LA 2138 MM for a replacement of the manifold gasket for which a job card was created on 19/10/92. This took the defendant weeks to carry out the replacement and the job was not satisfactorily done.
On the respondent’s complaint the defendant’s mechanic retrieved the car and suggested that the cylinder head be overhauled on 28/1/93 vide job card No. 135196 but after this second repair, the condition of the car worsened and because of the defendant’s incompetence and recklessness the vehicle engine was totally damaged, it  was dumped at the defendant’s office until 18/9/96 while the respondent removed it to forestall further damages, at this time however, the engine was met incomplete.
Aggrieved, the respondent instituted an action at the Onitsha High Court where he claimed that the action of the defendant made him to seek an alternative vehicle at a daily cost of N500.00. The trial court on 18/9/98 entered judgment in favour of the respondent and the defendant/appellant being dissatisfied has now appealed to the Court of Appeal.