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  • Chrisdon Industrial Ltd. v. A. I. B. Limited
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  • 2002-11-11
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Chrisdon Industrial Ltd. v. A. I. B. Limited

CHRISDON INDUSTRIAL CO. LTD.

CHIEF (DR.) CHRISTOPHER EFOBI

V

AFRICAN INTERNATIONAL BANK LIMITED

COURT OF APPEAL

( ENUGU DIVISION )

EUGENE C. UBAEZONU, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

SULE AREMU OLAGUNJU, JCA

JOHN AFOLABI FABIYI, JCA

CA/E/51M/2000

THURSDAY, 14TH MARCH, 2002

ACTION - Pre-emptive action - Whether can be used to stall repayment of debt in an action on the undefended list

APPEAL - Ground of appeal - Formulation of issue therefrom - Whether a party can formulate more issues than one from a ground of appeal

APPEAL - Notice of appeal - Whether can be signed by counsel

COURT - Application for adjournment brought before the court - Need for court to judicially and judiciously consider same

COURT - Anambra State High Court Rules, 1988, Order 5 rule 14 thereof -  Placing a case on the undefended list pursuant thereto - Whether any role is reserved for court to play before doing so

COURT - Rules of court - Anambra State High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 1988 - Sub-rule (3) of rule 9 of Order 24 thereof - Effect of

COURT - Trial court in the instant case - Failure of to firstly determine whether the suit can be properly placed on the undefended list Effect of - Whether robs it of its jurisdiction

DOCUMENT - Signature - Effect of appending one’s signature to a document

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Application for adjournment brought before the court - Need for court to judicially and judiciously consider

same

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Trial court in the instant case - Failure of to firstly determine whether the suit can be properly placed on the undefended list - Effect of - Whether robs it of its jurisdiction

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Undefended list procedure -  Basic condition for placing a suit thereon under Anambra State High Court Rules - Failure of plaintiff’s case to satisfy same - Effect of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Undefended list procedure - Claims brought under same - Presumption that the amount of indebtedness involved therein is certain and undisputable

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Undefended list procedure - Disadvantages of seeking to obtain judgment through undefended list suit

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Undefended list procedure - Notice of intention to defend a suit thereunder - Affidavit accompanying same -  Whether must show a defence on the merits

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Undefended list procedure - Notice of intention to defend a suit thereunder - Whether interpretation of calls for argument

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Undefended list procedure - Notice of intention to defend a suit thereunder - Determination whether same discloses a triable issue - Whether presence and address of defence counsel required by court therefor

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Undefended list procedure - Part of claims admitted by defendant thereunder - Whether part judgment can be awarded to plaintiff therefor where same is provided for under the General Cause List

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Undefended list procedure - Plaintiff’s verifying affidavit thereunder - Two essential conditions to be met thereby before a suit is placed on the undefended list

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Undefended list procedure - Purpose thereof - How a suit is heard as an undefended suit

Issues:

1.            Was the trial court right to have proceeded with hearing the suit without considering the application for adjournment?

2.            Did the appellants’ notice of intention to defend, raise a triable issue so as to entitle the appellants to be let in to defend?

Facts:

The plaintiff/respondent filed a suit against the defendants/appellants under the undefended list claiming:

1.            The sum of N26,470,327.30 being principal sum plus interest as at 31st July, 1998 and

2.            25 % interest per annum on the judgment debt from 1st August 1998  until final liquidation of the entire debt.

The claim arose from overdraft/loan facilities granted by the respondent to the 1st appellant guaranteed by the 2nd appellant.

The defendants/appellants filed a notice of intention to defend together with affidavit of defence. When the matter came up for hearing, the learned trial Judge entered judgment for the plaintiff for the amount claimed. Dissatisfied, the defendants have filed this appeal. The plaintiff/respondent raised a preliminary objection to the appeal contending that the notice of appeal signed by counsel instead of the appellant was defective and contrary to civil form 3 of the Court of Appeal Rules.