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  • Snig Nig. Ltd. vs. Ed-of Nig. Ltd.
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  • 2003-09-08
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Snig Nig. Ltd. vs. Ed-of Nig. Ltd.

SNIG NIGERIA LIMITED

V

ED- OF NIGERIA LIMITED

COURT OF APPEAL

(BENIN DIVISION)

CA/B/234/99

MONDAY, 13TH MAY, 2002

INTEREST - Claim for interest as a right - Procedure therefor

INTEREST - Sum of money claimed as a debt - A claim for interest thereon - Ways by which it can arise

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Undefended list - Leave to defend - When will be granted to a defendant

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Undefended list procedure - A defendant who has shown a good defence on merit - Whether will be granted leave to defend even if no notice is filed within time

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Undefended list procedure - Whether defendant has a good defence on merit - How determined - Guiding principles thereto

Issues:

         Whether the learned trial Judge was right in rejecting the defence raised by the defendant now appellant in its notice to defend the action i.e that it was the agent of a disclosed principal and proceeding to enter judgment in favour of the respondent for N3,433.500.00 (three million, four hundred and thirty-three thousand, five hundred naira) and awarding N1,000.00 as costs against it.

Facts:

          The respondent at the request of the appellant, submitted to the appellant quotations for the insulation/cladding and painting works in the Warri Refinery. By its letters dated 4/12/97; 11/2/98 and 25/2/98 (annexed as exhibits D, E and F respectively to the affidavit in support of the writ filed on the undefended list), the defendant requested the respondent to proceed with the execution of the quoted jobs, which the total lump sum price was N5,722,500.00. On 1/4/98 the appellant made part-payment of N1,716,750 to the respondent leaving unpaid balance of N3,433.500.00. This prompted the Managing Director of the respondent to write to the Managing Director of the appellant to settle the outstanding sum and copying Snig LSB France. The respondent did not receive a favourable response to the said letter hence it instructed its solicitors, to write a demand letter which was followed with the issuance of the writ on the undefended list claiming the liquidated sum of N3,433.500.00 with interest which the defendant has failed, neglected and/ or refused to settle inspite of repeated demands. Having been served with the writ of summons, the defendant filed its Notice of Intention to defend the action. In the affidavit in support of the notice the appellant contended that he merely acted as an agent of Snig France and that the proper party to be sued by the respondent is the disclosed principal, Snig France. Arguments of counsel were taken and matter adjourned for ruling. Judgment was entered for the respondent for the amount and interest claimed, with N1,000.00 as costs. Dissatisfied with the judgment the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.