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  • 2003-04-21
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First Bank Plc. vs. Maiwada

1.      FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC.

2.      RANKASSA ENTERPRISES LIMITED

V

ALHAJI SALMANU MAIWADA

COURT OF APPEAL

( JOS DIVISION )

ALOMA MARIAM MUKHTAR, JCA ( Presided )

ISA ABUBAKAR MANGAJI, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

IFEYINWA CECILIA NZEAKO, JCA

CA/J/162/2000

WEDNESDAY, 27TH MARCH, 2002

APPEAL - Appellant - Who is

APPEAL - Fresh issue on appeal - When raised - What applicant must do

APPEAL - Fresh issue on appeal - When will not be allowed to be raised by appellate court

APPEAL - Ground of appeal - Where based on law - How determined

APPEAL - Grounds of appeal - ‘Question of fact’ and ‘question of law’ Description of

APPEAL - Leave to appeal - When required to validate an appeal in instances of fact or mixed law and fact

APPEAL - Notice of appeal - When prepared by a law firm - Need for a legal practitioner to sign thereon

APPEAL - When based on incompetent grounds of appeal - Effect of

LEGAL PRACTITIONER - ‘Barrister’ and ‘Solicitor’ - Condition precedent to acquiring - Whether there is any differentiation between in Nigeria

LEGAL PRACTITIONER - Definition of - Section 24, Legal Practitioners Act

LEGAL PRACTITIONER - Mistake of counsel affecting jurisdiction of court -  Effect of on competence of court to adjudicate

LEGAL PRACTITIONER - Right and duty of to sign notice of appeal

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Legal practitioner’ - Definition of

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Question of law’ and ‘Question of fact’ -

Meaning of

Issues:

1.            Whether the appeal of the appellants is incompetent in that the notice of appeal was neither signed by the appellants nor by a Legal Practitioner acting on their behalf.

2.            Whether the entire appeal is incompetent in that the notice of appeal does not contain any valid ground(s) of appeal.

Facts:

The respondent as plaintiff at the Plateau State High Court filed an action against the appellant herein as defendant seeking various declaratory reliefs: order to set aside warrant of possession and N1,000,000 as damages for trespass.

The defendants/appellants filed an application seeking to dismiss the plaintiff/respondent’s case on the ground that the suit was caught in the web of the doctrine of res judicata. The defendant herein as plaintiff had successfully instituted an action in suit No. PLD/351/94 against the plaintiff herein as defendant in that case. However, the said decision had been appealed against and the appeal is still pending.

The learned trial Chief Judge dismissed the defendant’s/appellant’s application on the ground that the judgment relied upon by the defendants is now “on appeal at the Supreme Court”, and would not therefore qualify as a final judgment to base the defence of res judicata.

Dissatisfied with the said ruling, the defendants/appellants brought this appeal.