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  • 2002-10-28
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Sarhuna v. Lagga

UMARU YUSUF SARHUNA

V

ILIYA AKWAI LAGGA

COURT OF APPEAL

( KADUNA DIVISION )

ISA AYO SALAMI, JCA ( Presided )

MAHMUD MOHAMMED ( Read the Lead Judgment )

VICTOR AIMEPOMO OYELEYE OMAGE, JCA

CA/K/108/98

WEDNESDAY, 31ST OCTOBER, 2001

APPEAL - Ground of appeal - Mere framing same as error in law and misdirection on the facts renders it incompetent

APPEAL - Ground of appeal - Ground couched as error in law and misdirection on the facts - When same is good and competent

APPEAL - Ground of appeal - When deemed abandoned

APPEAL - Grounds of appeal - Description of a ground of appeal as both error in law and misdirection on the facts - Effect of the case of Ibekwe vs. Nwadike thereon

COURT - Court of Appeal - When to interfere with the findings of fact, and appraisal of evidence by trial court - Order 1 rule 20 of the Court of Appeal Rules and section 16 of the Court of Appeal Act

COURT - Findings of facts by trial court - How and when appellate court will interfere therewith

EVIDENCE - Oath-taking - Whether can be applied to discharge onus of proof where the dispute is between moslem and non-moslem

ISLAMIC LAW AND PROCEDURE - Oath-taking - Whether can be applied to discharge onus of proof where the dispute is between moslem and non-moslem

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - ‘No victor’, ‘no vanquished’ judgment Whether has any place in the administration of justice

JUDICIAL PRECEDENT - Ibekwe vs. Nwadike - Effect of on description of a ground of appeal as both ‘error in law’ and ‘misdirection on the facts’

LAND LAW - Declaration of title - When to dismiss claim for

LAND LAW - Declaration of title to land - Proof of - Need for plaintiff to succeed on the strength of his own case - Two qualifications to the principle thereof

Issues:

1.            Whether the lower court’s confirmation of the division of the disputed farmland between the parties amounts to substantial justice after holding that the trial court was in error to have resorted to oath-taking to discharge the onus of proof.

2.            Whether the respondent proved ownership of the part of the disputed farmland awarded to him.

3.            Whether the lower court which did not find the appellant’s crossappeal in its file, can properly dismiss the said cross-appeal.

Facts:

The action was commenced at the Upper Area Court where the plaintiff/respondent claimed title to a piece of farmland against the defendant/ appellant. Both parties asserted ownership to the land. The trial court after receiving evidence from witnesses called by the parties, resorted to determine the dispute by administering oath to the parties who were a Moslem and a pagan. Thus, on the basis of the oaths administered, the trial Upper Area Court shared the farmland in dispute equally between the parties as its judgment.

Dissatisfied, the parties appealed to the High Court. The appeal and cross-appeal were heard together and the appellate High Court affirmed the judgment of the trial Area Court sharing the farmland in dispute. It is against the judgment of the High Court that the defendant has further appealed to the Court of Appeal.