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Frank vs. Abdu

ENGINEER ETIM FRANK

MR. NATHAN KALAORA

MR. M. Y. LAGNADO

ALHAJI HALIRU DANTORO

MR. J. O. GBOLADE

DRAGETANOS CONSTRUCTION NIGERIA LTD.

V

COLONEL M. A. ABDU (RTD.)

COURT OF APPEAL

( KADUNA DIVISION )

RABIU DANLAMI MUHAMMAD, JCA ( Presided )

MAHMUD MOHAMMED, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

VICTOR AIMEPOMO OYELEYE OMAGE, JCA

CA/K/11/2000

TUESDAY, 2ND JULY, 2002

ARBITRATION - Arbitration clause - Where contained in a written agreement whether court can interfere with

ARBITRATION - Matter agreed to be referred to arbitration - Power of court to make an order of stay of proceedings of if one party commences legal proceedings in respect of - Section 5 of the Arbitration Act, Cap. 13 Law of the Federation of Nigeria

ARBITRATION -Discretionary power of court to order a stay of proceedings in order to refer the matter in dispute between parties to arbitration -  How exercised

COMPANY LAW AND PRACTICE - Action to remedy wrong or ratify irregular conduct committed in the cause of company’s affairs - Who can institute - The rule in Foss vs. Harbottle

COMPANY LAW AND PRACTICE - Shareholders - Individual shareholders -  Whether can sue in his own name

COMPANY LAW AND PRACTICE - The rule in Foss vs. Harbottle Exception thereto

CONTRACT - Written agreement - Arbitration clause contained therein Whether court can interfer with

COURT - Arbitration clause - Where contained in a written agreement  -

Whether court can interfere with

COURT - Competence of - Defect therein - Effect thereof

COURT - Court declining to rule on the issue of jurisdiction until a later stage of the hearing of the case on the merit - Impropriety of

COURT - Discretionary power of court to order a stay of proceedings in order to refer the matter in dispute between parties to arbitration How exercised

COURT - When competent

JURISDICTION - Decision given without jurisdiction- Effect thereof

JURISDICTION - Locus standi and jurisdiction - Relationship between

JURISDICTION - Meaning of

JURISDICTION - What determines - Need to consider before any other thing

JURISDICTION - When a court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate in a matter

-  Proper order to make

LOCUS STANDI - Locus standi and jurisdiction - Relationship between

LOCUS STANDI - Locus standi of the plaintiff - Once raised - Need for to be determined first

LOCUS STANDI - What confers

LOCUS STANDI - Whether depends on the merit of the case

Issue:

Whether the plaintiff’s claims disclose any locus capable of clothing the lower court with jurisdiction to hear the suit.

Facts:

This appeal emanated from the ruling of the Federal High Court Kano on the preliminary objection raised by the appellants to the locus standi of the plaintiff/respondent to make the claims brought by him against the appellants. In the motion before the trial court, the appellants had asked the court either to prevent the respondent from proceeding with the suit on the basis that the plaintiff is no longer a director of the company and has no locus standi, and can no longer demand service on him of any report of the company or alternatively for the court to rule that the proceedings be stayed, while the dispute is referred to arbitration as contained in the agreement between the parties under an arbitration clause. The trial court refused the application of the appellants on both grounds and sought to proceed with the respondent’s case. On being dissatisfied with the said ruling, the appellants appealed to the Court of Appeal.