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Njeze v. Ude

DR. C.C. NJEZE

V

1.      C.I. UDE

2.      INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY, ENUGU

COURT OF APPEAL

( ENUGU DIVISION )

EUGENE CHUKWUEMEKA UBAEZONU, JCA ( Presided )

SULE AREMU OLAGUNJU, JCA

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

CA/E/66/2000

MONDAY, 10TH DECEMBER, 2001

ACTION - Action against government or public officer - Condition precedent thereto - Whether issuance and service of pre-action notice mandatory - Section 11(2) of the State Proceedings Law Cap. 131 Laws of Anambra State

COURT - Higher courts - Pronouncement of cited by parties before lower courts - Where same does not relate to the facts and circumstances of cases before lower courts - Attitude of lower courts thereto

COURT - Interpretation of statute - Duty of court thereby

INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES - Court - Duty of when interpreting statute

JUDICIAL PRECEDENT - NPA vs. Construzioni - Inapplicability of to the instant case

PUBLIC OFFICER - Action against public officer - Need to serve preaction notice before instituting same - Failure to serve same - Effect STATUTE - Section 7 and section 11 of State Proceedings Law of Anambra State - Purport thereof vis-a-vis issuance and service of pre-action notice

Issue:

Whether the lower court was right in its holding that section 11(2)(b) of the State Proceedings Law Cap 131 Laws of Anambra State 1986 does not apply to cases of breach of contract of service.

Facts:

The respondent herein as plaintiff filed this suit against the defendant for wrongful termination of his appointment in the defendant’s company. The 2nd defendant, (rector of the 1st defendant) filed an application praying the court to strike out his name from the suit on the ground that the plaintiff did not comply with the mandatory provision of section 11(2)(b) of the State Proceedings Law cap. 131 Laws of Anambra State 1986 which required service of pre-action notice on a public officer.

At the conclusion of hearing of the application the trial court dismissed the application. Dissatisfied the defendant as appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.