BEST LAW REPORT SUBSCRIPTION PRICE!!

  • All States Trust Bank Ltd v. Chyke Int’l Ltd
  • 141
  • 2003-02-10
  • ₦ 200
  • Buy Now

All States Trust Bank Ltd v. Chyke Int’l Ltd

ALL STATES TRUST BANK LIMITED

IKENNA OKOLI

F. CHIJIOKE OKOLI

V

CHYKE INTERNATIONAL LIMITED

MR. CHIKE MBAMALU

COURT OF APPEAL

( BENIN DIVISION )

RAPHAEL OLUFEMI ROWLAND, JCA ( Presided )

SAKA ADEYEMI IBIYEYE, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgmet )

KUMAI BAYANG AKAAHS, JCA

CA/B/216/96

THURSDAY, 24TH JANUARY, 2002

ACTION - Commencement of action - Proper venue for institution of action in a creditor-debtor relationship

COMPANY LAW - Corporation or company - Branch office of - Meaning of

COMPANY LAW - Corporation or company - Principal place of business of - Meaning of

COMPANY LAW - Corporation or company - Residence of - How determined

COURT - Duty of court to hear both parties to a dispute - Failure of Effect

COURT -  Interlocutory proceedings - Need for court to refrain from prejudging case at interlocutory stage

FAIR HEARING - Duty of court to hear both parties to a dispute - Failure of - Effect

INJUNCTION - Injunctive order - Whether remedy for completed actions remedy for completed actions

INJUNCTION - Interim injunction - Governing principles in considering application for interim injunction

INJUNCTION - Mandatory injunction - When may be decreed

INJUNCTION - Mandatory order - Injunction in respect of completed acts or where such acts lead to usurping functions of the court - When appropriate to grant

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS -Interlocutory order - Need for court to refrain from prejudging case at interlocutory stage

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Branch office’ - Meaning of WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Principal place of business’ - Meaning of

Issues:

1.            Was it not wrong of the lower court to make manadatory injunctive order against the appellants upon a mere oral application for interim injunction?

2.            Is it not wrong of the lower court to refuse to transfer the suit to its Lagos Division upon the application of the appellants whose headquarters and place of residence respectively are within that division and who as defendants in the suit demanded for the transfer as provided for under order 7 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 1976?

Facts:

The plaintiffs as respondents filed an action against the appellants at the Federal High Court Benin in Suit No. FHC/B/154/95 seeking series of declaratory, injunctive and monetary reliefs among other claims. A motion for similar reliefs was equally filed by the plaintiffs.

Before the institution of this action, the 1st plaintiff/respondent had taken loan of N9,000.000.00 from the 1st defendant/appellant while the plaintiffs/respondents executed a deed of debenture mortgaging all their assets in favour of the 1st defendant/appellant. Pursuant to the said deed, the 1st defendant/appellant is empowered to appoint a receiver to take charge of and sell the assets of the 1st plaintiff/respondent in the event of default. The plaintiffs/respondents eventually defaulted in paying the debt; hence, the 2nd appellant was appointed by the 1st appellant as a receiver. The 2nd appellant equally appointed the 3rd applicant as his agent towards recovering the debt. To ensure hitch-free debt recovery, the appellants filed an action in suit no FHC/B/61/95 and subsequently obtained ex-parte order restraining the 1st respondent from obstructing or interfering with the 2nd appellant in the exercise of his powers as a receiver.

The appellants in reaction to the suit of the plaintiffs/respondents in suit No. FHC/B/154/95 filed a motion on notice seeking to strike out the suit and the interlocutory injunction sought therein or alternatively to transfer the suit to Lagos Judicial Division of the Federal High Court for adjudication.

The two motions of the parties were set down for hearing on 19th Dec., 1995. On the said date, the defendants’ counsel, Chief Oke Okoli did not appear in court; he urged the court by a letter sent through his junior counsel, to adjourn the case to a further date. The plaintiffs’ counsel did not object to the application for adjournment but further urged the court to grant all the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs/respondents.

The learned trial Judge, Abutu J. granted the application for adjournment and the reliefs sought in the plaintiffs’/respondents’ motion on notice and refused the appellants’ prayer seeking to transfer the suit from Benin division to Lagos division of the Federal High Court.

The appellants being aggrieved by these two rulings of injunctive orders and refusal to strike out the suit or transfer the case to Lagos Division brought this appeal challenging the said rulings.