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  • 2001-08-06
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Ya’u v. Dikwa

ALHAJI MUSA YA’U

V

MACLEAN D.M. DIKWA

COURT OF APPEAL

( JOS DIVISION )

ALOMA MARIAM MUKHTAR, JCA ( Presided )

ISA ABUBAKAR MANGAJI, JCA

IFEYINWA CECILIA NZEAKO, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

CA/J/188/98

THURSDAY, 23RD NOVEMBER, 2000

APPEAL - Award of damages by trial court - Trial court lumping special damages with general damages - What appellate court should do -  Whether should set aside the whole award

APPEAL - Award of general damages by trial court - When appellate court will interfere with

APPEAL - Findings of fact by trial court - Attitude of appellate court thereto

DAMAGES - Award of damages by trial court - Trial court lumping special damages with general damages - What appellate court should do -  Whether should set aside the whole award

DAMAGES - Double compensation - Attitude of courts thereto - Rationale for

DAMAGES - Double compensation - Special damages for loss of use, vehicle, and medical expenses incurred - General damages for pain and suffering  - Claim for - Whether amounts to double compensation

DAMAGES - General damages - Award of - Principles guiding DAMAGES - General damages - Award of by trial court - Where appellate court will interfere with

DAMAGES - General damages - How pleaded - How proved

DAMAGES - General damages -  Meaning of  - How classified

DAMAGES - Loss of use - Claim for - Type of damages accruable to plaintiff

DAMAGES - Loss of vehicle to accident - Total loss - Quantum of damages accruable to plaintiff

DAMAGES - Medical expenses - Claim for - Type of damages accruable to plaintiff

DAMAGES - Negligence - Power of trial court to award both special and general damages

DAMAGES - Personal injury cases - Claims for pain and suffering thereunder - Type of damages accruable to plaintiff

DAMAGES - Prospective expenditure  - Type of damages pleaded therefor

DAMAGES - Special damages - General damages - Difference between

DAMAGES - Special damages - How pleaded - How proved

DAMAGES - Losses - Where capable of exact calculation  - Type of damages pleaded therefor - Proof required

DOCUMENT- Destroyed documents - Oral evidence thereof - Whether admissible - Section 97(2) (a), Evidence Act

DOCUMENT - Public document - Question whether a receipt of purchase constitutes  - How determined

DOCUMENT - Receipt of purchase - Question whether a public document -  How determined

EVIDENCE - ‘Person interested’ under section 91(3), Evidence Act - Who is - People excluded therefrom

EVIDENCE - Evidence Act, section 132 - Provision thereunder for exclusion of oral evidence by documentary evidence  - Scope of - Whether applies to every document

EVIDENCE - Evidence Act, section 91(3) - ‘Person interested’ thereunder

-  Who is  - People excluded therefrom

EVIDENCE - Expert evidence - How countered

EVIDENCE - Oral evidence - Exclusion of by documentary evidence -  Provision therefor under section 132, Evidence Act - Scope of -  Whether applies to every document

EVIDENCE - Oral evidence - Oral evidence of destroyed documents -  Whether admissible - Section 97(2)(a), Evidence Act

EVIDENCE - Pre-accident value of vehicle - Proof of - Type of evidence required

EVIDENCE - Public document - Question whether a receipt of purchase constitutes  - How determined

EVIDENCE - Receipt of purchase - Question whether a public document How determined

EVIDENCE - Unchallenged evidence  - Duty on court - Whether bound to discharge duty on minimum proof

PLEADINGS - Essence of

STATUTE - Evidence Act, section 132 - Provision thereunder for exclusion of oral evidence by documentary evidence  - Scope of - Whether applies to every document

STATUTE - Evidence Act, section 91(3) - ‘Person interested’ thereunder -  Who is  - People excluded therefrom

TORT -  Medical expenses - Claim for - Type of damages accruable to

plaintiff

TORT - Loss of use - Claim for - Type of damages accruable to plaintiff

TORT - Medical expenses - Pain and suffering  - Claim for under special and general damages respectively  - Whether amounts to double compensation

TORT - Negligence - Power of trial court to award both special and general damages

TORT - Personal injury cases - Claims for pain and suffering thereunder -  Type of damages accruable to plaintiff

TORT - Pre-accident value of vehicle - Proof of - Type of evidence required WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘General damages’ - Meaning of  - How classified

Issues:

1.            Whether the trial court was right in awarding the sum of N180,000.00 as general damages to the plaintiff/respondent.

2.            Whether the trial court was right in awarding the sum of N45,750.00 as special damages when there was no proof of same before the court.

3.            Whether, having awarded the sum of N45,750.00 as special damages, the trial court would not be awarding double compensation to the defendant/ respondent by awarding another sum of N180,000.00 as general damages.

4.            Whether the trial court was right in relying on the evidence of PW3 and Exhibit C, the evidence having been procured after the case was instituted.

5.            Whether the trial court was right in holding that the vehicle in question i.e Peugeot 504 Station Wagon Registration No. PL 565  P belonged to the plaintiff.

6.            Whether the decision of the trial court was not against the weight of evidence.

Facts:

The plaintiff suffered damage as a result of the defendant’s negligence while driving his vehicle, a taxi cab. The taxi cab was completely burnt and the plaintiff was rendered unconscious and hospitalized.

The plaintiff sued the appellant, claiming, inter alia, special damages due to loss of vehicle, and general damages for injuries sustained and loss of use of the vehicle.

The trial court in awarding the claims in favour of the plaintiff  lumped both the special and general damages together. The defendant appealed.