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  • 2002-12-30
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Nwokedi v. Okugo

NWEKE NWOKEDI

LAWRENCE AKPE

UYAMMADU OGUGU

( for themselves and on behalf of all others the people of 

Offianta Village, Nsugbe town Oyi Local Government Area)

V

EKWENUGU OKUGO

NNAKE AKWOBI

AKPE AWALIOBA

( for themselves and as representing all others the people of 

Akwete Quarter of Nneyi Village, Umuleri town, Anambra Local Government Area)

SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

SALIHU MODIBBO ALFA BELGORE, JSC ( Presided )

IDRIS LEGBO KUTIGI, JSC

SYLVESTER UMARU ONU, JSC

ALOYSIUS IYORGYER KATSINA-ALU, JSC ( Read the Lead Judgment ) UMARU ATU KALOG, JSC

SC. 39/98

FRIDAY, 12TH JULY, 2002 

ESTOPPEL - Res judicata - When applies - Application of in instant case

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Judgment not appealed against - Whether valid and subsisting

Issue:

Whether the 1957 judgment can successfully operate as res judicata.

Facts:

Plaintiffs in this case instituted this action against the defendants claiming general damages and injunction against the defendants for further trespass on the land in dispute. At the conclusion of pleadings, defendants brought a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ case on the ground of res judicata and/or abuse of process of the court. After hearing the application, the court ruled that the Native Court judgment in the 1907 case which declared title in favour of the plaintiffs was valid and still subsisting and that the plea of res judicata was not available to the defendants. On appeal to the Court of Appeal, the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and upheld the plea of res judicata.

Aggrieved, the plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court.