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  • Joe Golday Co. Ltd. vs. C.D.B. Plc.
  • 153
  • 2003-05-05
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Joe Golday Co. Ltd. vs. C.D.B. Plc.

FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC

V

E. D. TSOKWA

( Doing Business under the name and style E. D. Tsokwa & Sons )

COURT OF APPEAL

( JOS DIVISION )

OLUDADE OLADAPO OBADINA, JCA ( Presided )

AMIRU SANUSI, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

IFEYINWA CECILIA NZEAKO, JCA

CA/J/76/98

WEDNESDAY, 6TH NOVEMBER, 2002

APPEAL - Court of Appeal Act, section 25(2) thereof - Purport of

APPEAL - Ground of appeal - Where complains of admissibility of documents - Whether a question of law

APPEAL - Interlocutory appeal - Whether leave of appeal necessary where appeal based on grounds of law

APPEAL - Interlocutory decision - Effect of not appealing against until final judgment - Right of appellant to make interlocutory decision subject of appeal against final judgment

APPEAL - Leave to appeal - Whether required in respect of interlocutory appeal while appealing against final judgment

APPEAL - Notice of appeal - Where amended - Effective date of

COMPANY LAW - Evidence of a transaction undertaken by a company Who can give on behalf of the company

COURT - Commencement of action venue for so doing under Gongola

State High Court Rules

COURT - High Court of a state - Whether there is only one irrespective of numerous judicial divisions

COURT - Part-heard matter - When a case is part-heard by one Judge and later taken over by another - Need to start de novo

COURT - Proposed pleadings - Effect of trial court basing its decision on proposed pleadings not adopted by the parties

COURT - Suit listed in the old State High Court - Whether creation of new states affects the venue for hearing and determination of same

COURT - Trial court - Error or mistake by - Whether every such error or mistake will result in the decision being disturbed on appeal

CREATION OF STATES - Suit listed in the old State High Court - Whether creation of new states affects the venue for hearing and determination of same

EVIDENCE - Company - Evidence of a transaction undertaken by a company - Who can give on behalf of the company

EVIDENCE - Documentary evidence - Basis for admissibility of

EVIDENCE - Documents in support of pleaded facts - Whether need be pleaded

EVIDENCE - Signature on a document - Where denied or person who signed not known - Whether should affect admissibility of the document or the weight placed thereon

JUDGE - Part-heard matter - When a case is part-heard by one Judge and later taken over by another - Need to start de novo

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Interlocutory decision - Where not appealed against until final judgment - Whether leave required in the appeal against the whole decision

JURISDICTION - Issue of jurisdiction - Importance of - Whether can be raised at any time

JURISDICTION - State High Court - Territorial jurisdiction of - Whether a case belonging to the territorial jurisdiction of one state can be tried in another state

JURISDICTION - Whether can be conferred by agreement or consent of parties

PLEADINGS - Admission of pleaded facts - Effect

PLEADINGS - Documents in support of pleaded facts - Whether need be pleaded

PLEADINGS - Proposed pleadings - Where trial court’s decision is based thereon - Effect

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Interlocutory decision -  Where not appealed against until final judgment - Whether leave required to do so in the appeal against the whole decision

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Part-heard matter - When a case is partheard by one Judge and later taken over by another - Need to start de novo

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Pleadings - Documents in support of pleaded facts - Whether should be pleaded

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Pleadings - Trial court - Error or mistake by - Whether every such error or mistake will result in the decision being disturbed on appeal

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Proposed pleadings - Where trial court’s decision is based thereon - Effect

STATUTE - Court of Appeal Act, section 25(2) thereof - Purport of

Issues:

1.            Whether the High Court of Taraba State sitting at Wukari had territorial jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

2.            Whether the rejection of Guarantee Form and Savings Withdrawal Form as exhibits proper in law.

3.            Whether in relying on the proposed amended statement of defence which the defendant sought to use but refused by the trial court, there was miscarriage of justice by the trial court.

4.            Whether the respondent proved his claim in respect of unauthorised transfer of the sum of N25,720.75k from his savings account No. 1855 as to justify the award of N150,000.00 general damages for breach of contract and negligence.

Facts:

The plaintiff/respondent sued the defendant/appellant before the High Court of Gongola State sitting at Yola claiming as follows:

(a)          The sum of N25,720.75k being the amount converted by the defendant from the plaintiff’s account No. 1855 at its Yola Branch.

(b)         Interest on the said sums at the bank’s savings account interest rate from date of conversion until the said sum is credited to the plaintiff’s account.

(c)          An order of the court on the defendant to allow the plaintiff continue to run the said savings account No. 1855

(d)         N250,000.00k general damages for the negligence in handling the plaintiff’s account.

(e)          The cost of the action.

The action was being tried at Wukari High Court before Bansi, J and it was part-heard when the then Gongola State was split into two States, namely Adamawa and Taraba States with their capitals situate at Yola and Jalingo respectively. As a result of the state creation exercise, Bansi, J was appointed the Chief Judge of Adamawa State and thus had to leave Wukari in Taraba State. The case file was also left in Wukari and the case was subsequently assigned to Audu, J before whom trial resumed de novo and was concluded without any of the parties raising the issue of the territorial jurisdiction of the court.

The trial court awarded judgment to the plaintiff. Dissatisfied, the defendant filed this appeal, and raised for the first time the issue of territorial jurisdiction of the High Court of Taraba State.