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Rabiu vs. Goje

YUSUF RABIU

V

ADO GOJE

COURT OF APPEAL

( KADUNA DIVISION )

RABIU D. MUHAMMAD, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

VICTOR AIMEPOMO OYELEYE OMAGE, JCA

JOSEPH JEREMIAH UMOREN, JCA

CA/K/41/99

THURSDAY, 21ST MARCH, 2002

APPEAL - Decision of Upper Area Court - Appeal therefrom to Court of

Appeal - Jurisdiction of Court of Appeal to entertain - Section 240, Constitution 1999

APPEAL - High Court sitting on appeal - Power conferred thereon to do what trial court failed to do

APPEAL - Retrial order - When appellate court will make - Factor necessitating

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - Decision of Upper Area Court - Appeal therefrom to Court of Appeal - Jurisdiction of Court of Appeal to entertain - Section 240, Constitution 1999

COURT - Area Court - Competence of in land matters - Land not situate within court’s territorial jurisdiction - Effect of section 19(2) & (3) Area Courts Law 1967

COURT - Civil trial - Where nullified - Proper order to make

COURT - Competence of to adjudicate over a matter - Essentials of COURT - Criminal trial - Where nullified - Proper order to make

COURT - Decision of court - Where reached without jurisdiction - Effect

COURT - High Court sitting on appeal - Power conferred thereon to do what trial court failed to do

COURT - Retrial order - When appellate court will make -  Factor necessitating - When will not be made

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Criminal trial - Where declared a nullity - Proper order to make

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Civil trial - Where declared a nullity - Proper order to make

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Criminal trial - Where declared a nullity Proper order to make

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Retrial order - When appellate court will make - Factor necessitating

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Civil trial - Where declared a nullity -

Proper order to make

Issue:

Whether or not the High Court was right to have dismissed the appellant’s appeal and affirm the decision of the Upper Area Court, after declaring the trial before the Area Court a nullity for lack of jurisdiction.

Facts:

The appellant instituted an action against the respondent at the Area Court III Katsina claiming ownership of a farmland situate at Jibia. According to him, the farmland belonged to his father but was loaned to the respondent. After hearing evidence, the trial Area Court gave judgment to the appellant thus awarding the farmland to him.

The respondent appealed to the Upper Area Court II, Katsina which allowed the appeal and set-aside the decision of the Area Court. Appellant then appealed to the High Court, Katsina State. In its judgment, the court held that the Area Court III had no jurisdiction to try the matter largely due to the fact that the land in dispute coupled with the parties were outside the court’s jurisdiction.

Dissatisfied with this decision, appellants further appealed to the Court of Appeal.