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  • Diete-Amange vs. Mange-Pege
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  • 2003-09-29
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Diete-Amange vs. Mange-Pege

CHIEF CLAUDE DIETE-AMANGE

CHIEF GIDEON A. OBIENE-OJOKE

( On behalf of Amange/Ojoko Houses of Nembe )

CHIEF PEDRO A. EGI-IKATA

CHIEF S. I. SAGBE/ORUWARI

( On behalf of Ikata/Oruwari Houses of Nembe )

V

SYLVESTER MANGE-PEGE

MACLEAN T. INAINFE

OMUNGU FERMONDE

MADAM MERCY OTINI

( On behalf of themselves and other members of Atubi family of Nembe)

COURT OF APPEAL

( PORT HARCOURT DIVISION )

JAMES OGENYI OGEBE, JCA ( Presided )

SYLVANUS ADIEWERE NSOFOR, JCA

MICHAEL EYARUOMA AKPIROROH, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

CA/PH/27/91

THURSDAY, 20TH FEBRUARY, 2003

ACTION - Representative action - Representative capacity of plaintiff Whether defendant can object to after admitting that the plaintiffs are members of the same group or family

APPEAL - Court of Appeal - Whether will disturb findings of fact of trial court

COURT - Court of Appeal - Whether will disturb findings of fact of trial court

EVIDENCE - Declaration of title to land - Evidence of facts in recent years -  When to be applied for resolving a more probable traditional history EVIDENCE - Declaration of title to land - Traditional evidence - Where inconclusive - Whether evidence of acts of ownership can ground declaration of title

EVIDENCE - Declaration of title to land - Traditional history - Where inconclusive or in conflict - Whether evidence of facts in recent years will be relied upon to determine the more probable traditional history

LAND LAW - Declaration of title - Traditional evidence - Where inconclusive -  Whether evidence of acts of ownership can ground declaration of

title

LAND LAW - Traditional history - Where inconclusive or in conflict Whether evidence of facts in recent years will be relied upon to determine the more probable traditional history

PARTIES - Representative action - Representative capacity of plaintiffs Whether defendant can object to after admitting that plaintiffs are members of the same group or family

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Findings of fact of trial court - When

Court of Appeal will not disturb

Issues:

1.            Whether the plaintiffs/appellants proved the boundaries of the disputed land with the certainty required by law.

2.            Whether the plaintiffs proved the devolution of customary title to the disputed land unto them so as to rely on traditional history to succeed.

3.            Whether the representative capacity of the plaintiffs was proved.

Facts:

The plaintiffs/respondents claimed declaration of title to land and injunction against the defendants/appellants. Upon the pleadings of the parties, both parties led traditional evidence of their title to the disputed land. The plaintiff also led evidence of facts in recent years to show their ownership of the land. The learned trial Judge found the evidence of traditional history led by the parties as inconclusive, but relying upon evidence of facts in recent years, entered judgment for the plaintiffs. Aggrieved, the defendants filed this appeal.