- Nas v. Adesanya
- ₦ 200
Nas v. Adesanya
ALHAJI WADA NAS
SENATOR (CHIEF) ABRAHAM ADESANYA
COURT OF APPEAL
( LAGOS DIVISION )
GEORGE ADESOLA OGUNTADE, JCA ( Presided )
PIUS OLAYIWOLA ADEREMI, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )
MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD, JCA
17TH OCTOBER, 2002
COURT - Jurisdiction - Need for court to have jurisdiction before exercising judicial power
COURT - Jurisdiction - Whether
parties can confer jurisdiction on court
DEFAMATION - Libel - Publication in an action in defamation - Importance of
JURISDICTION - How determined - Whether parties can confer jurisdiction on
JURISDICTION - Need for court to have jurisdiction before it can exercise
PUBLIC OFFICER - Public officer as agent of the government - Liability of
PUBLIC OFFICER - Public officer who has used official position to foster
his personal view or plan - Consequences of personal act of - Pleading official
position as cover from liability therefor - Impropriety of
Whether the learned trial Chief Judge was right in
687 in an application challenging the jurisdiction of a trial
court, the trial court will only look
into the statement of claim to determine, its jurisdiction?
Whether, in assuming jurisdiction in this suit, the
learned trial Chief Judge complied with the provisions of Order 2, rule 2 and
Order 2, rule 4 of the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure Rules) 1994
and has properly applied the decision of Alhaji
(Chief) Aruna Agbonikena & Ors vs. Joseph Egba & Ors. (1987) 2 NWLR
(Pt. 57) 494?
This appeal is
against the ruling of the High Court of Lagos State wherein the respondent
herein claimed against the appellant damages for defamatory statement against
the respondent made by the appellant and injunction.
exchange of pleadings, the appellant brought an application for an order
dismissing the entire suit contending that the court below lacked jurisdiction
to entertain it for reason of the fact that the appellant was a public officer
and that the cause of action arose from Abuja.
In his ruling,
the learned Chief Judge, in dismissing the application held inter alia:
â€œNowhere in the statement of
claim has it been stated that this action was brought against the defendant in
his official capacity as a Federal Minister or Public Officer. He was sued in
his private capacity ....
It is for the plaintiff to decide
whether he wishes to sue a defendant in a personal or official capacity on the
nature of the claim and when he so decides to sue a defendant in a personal
capacity. It is not open to his adversary to force it upon the plaintiff to sue
such a defendant in an official capacity ...
The action against the defendant
is one for libel. What makes libel actionable is not mere uttering of
defamatory words but the publication of the defamatory words. An action
therefore does not arise until the defamatory words are published...
The application is therefore
Dissatisfied with this ruling, the appellant
appealed to the Court of Appeal.