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  • Bank of the North Ltd v. Adehi
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  • 2003-01-13
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Bank of the North Ltd v. Adehi

BANK OF THE NORTH LIMITED

V

ALHAJI A.A. ADEHI

COURT OF APPEAL

( ABUJA DIVISION )

DAHIRU MUSDAPHER, JCA ( Presided )

ZAINAB ADAMU  BULKACHUWA, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

ALBERT GBADEBO ODUYEMI, JCA

CA/A/22/97

FRIDAY, 21ST DECEMBER, 2001

ACTION - Non-payment of filing fees in a case - Effect of

APPEAL - Findings of fact of a trial court - Attitude of appellate court thereto

BANKING - Customer’s two separate accounts - Banker combining same without his notice or consent - Impropriety of

BANKING - Right of lien over a property for which it has given no consideration - Whether a bank can claim

COURT - Findings of fact of a trial court - Attitude of appellate court thereto

DEFAMATION - Libel - Allegation of - Duty of plaintiff to call evidence in proof of

DEFAMATION - Words complained - Nature and determination of

EVIDENCE - Evidence in proof of a claim for damages - Where rejected Effect of

EVIDENCE - Evidence in proof of a claim for damages - Where rejected Effect of

EVIDENCE - Fraud - Standard of proof of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Non-payment of filing fees in a case -

Effect of

Issues:

1.            Whether there was any basis for the trial court to have assessed and awarded damages for libel.

2.            Whether having regard to the circumstances of the case and the evidence adduced the appellant was right to have exercised right of lien over Certificate of Occupancy No. 304 deposited with it.

3.            Whether based on the facts and the evidence adduced before it, the lower court was right to have assessed and awarded special damages to the respondent.

4.            Whether the trial court was right to have dismissed the counterclaim.

Facts:

The respondent was granted a loan of N50,000.00 (Fifty thousand naira) by the appellant under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund. A Deed of Legal Mortgage was entered into by the parties whereby the respondent offered his Certificate of Occupancy No. DWD/52/74 in respect of his building at Ogonaji as security for the loan. When the tractors purchased under the loan agreement did not work and the respondent could not pay back the loan, he applied for an additional facility of N55,000.00 ( Fifty-five thousand naira). The appellant asked him to give additional security before his application for the additional facility could be considered. He offered the Certificate of Occupancy No. 304  as security for the additional facility but his application for the additional facility was refused in that he had not repaid the first loan granted to him. He then wrote to the appellant requesting that the Certificate of Occupancy No. 304 be returned to him as the additional facility has been refused. The appellant failed to return the said Certificate of Occupancy and advertised that the property covered by the Certificate of Occupancy would be sold off at a Public Auction. In consequence of this, the respondent as plaintiff instituted an action before the Idah High Court, Kogi State whereby he claimed against the appellant as 2nd defendant and three others for declaratory reliefs, injunction, special and general damages.

The appellant filed its defence and also counter-claimed. At the conclusion of trial, the learned trial Judge in a considered judgment partly found for the respondent by granting him some of the reliefs sought and dismissed the appellant’s counter-claim in its entirety.

Aggrieved by this decision, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.