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  • Reynolds Construction Co. (Nig.) Ltd. v. Okwejiminor
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  • 2002-09-23
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Reynolds Construction Co. (Nig.) Ltd. v. Okwejiminor

REYNOLDS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY (NIG.) LIMITED

V

MR. EDWARD OKWEJIMINOR

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/171/99 

MONDAY, 11TH JUNE, 2001.

ACTION - Public property - Damage done thereto - Action for - Who can bring

COURT - Duty of where parties are ad idem in respect of subject of litigation

EVIDENCE - Admission - What amounts to - Need to be unequivocal and direct

EVIDENCE - Burden of proof - How determined - Relevant consideration

EVIDENCE - Evidence on facts not pleaded - Effect

EVIDENCE - Ownership - Proof of - How done - Standard required

PARTIES - Where ad idem in respect of subject of litigation - Duty of court PLEADINGS - Duty on litigants with regards to their pleadings

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Facts not pleaded - Evidence led in respect of - How treated

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Plaintiff - Duty on to prove his case independent of defendant’s case


PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Pleadings - Duty on litigants with regards to their pleadings

PUBLIC PROPERTY - Damage done thereto - Who can sue in respect of

PUBLIC PROPERTY - Highway - Ownership of - Whether public or private

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Highway’ - Meaning of WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Culvert’ - What amounts to

Issue:

Whether the appellant herein was responsible for the damage done to the access culvert allegedly belonging to the respondent and if yes whether the respondent was competent to ask for damages for the said damage.

Facts:

The respondent as plaintiff sued the appellant as defendant for N500,000.00 being damages suffered for trespass and unlawful damage committed by the appellant. The facts of the case were that the appellant’s vehicle skidded off the road and fell into a gutter along Ughelli-Patani Road. The appellant turned the vehicle away with a crane. In the course of removing the vehicle, there was obstruction of traffic and the Policemen at the scene diverted traffic through a culvert. Subsequently, the respondent complained to the appellant that the culvert which he claimed was the access to his factory was damaged. The respondent claimed that the fence of his factory was also damaged as a result of traffic which utilized the land near his factory. Both the appellant and the respondent  inspected the alleged damage and the appellant requested the respondent to contact its insurers in respect of the repairs. The respondent wrote to the appellant to effect the repairs. The appellant though denied liability, effected repairs on the culvert and wall fence, according to the appellant, in recognition of its social responsibility to the community. The respondent requested the appellant to give him some trips of granite and bags of cement free of charge.

At the end of trial, the learned trial Judge awarded the sum of N230,000.00 as damages in favour of the respondent. Dissatisfied with the judgment, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.