BEST LAW REPORT SUBSCRIPTION PRICE!!

  • Coomassie vs. Tell Communication Ltd
  • 180
  • 2003-11-10
  • ₦ 200
  • Buy Now

Coomassie vs. Tell Communication Ltd

ALHAJI IBRAHIM COOMASSIE

V

TELL COMMUNICATIONS LTD.

MR. NOSA IGIEBOR

MR. ADEGBENRO ADEBANJO

DR. OLU ONAGORUWA

COURT OF APPEAL

( ABUJA DIVISON )

DAHIRU MUSDAPHER, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

ZAINAB A. BULKACHUWA, JCA

ALBERT GBADEBO ODUYEMI, JCA

CA/A/12/2001

FRIDAY, 26TH JULY, 2002 

COSTS - Award of - Whether should be awarded punitively

COURT - Costs - Discretion of court to order that a losing party pay costs before instituting further proceedings - How exercised

COURT - Matters before the court - Duty of court while deciding

COURT - Proceedings therebefore - Need for to keep records of - Effect of challenge of

COURT - Record of proceedings of court - Purpose of

COURT - Trial court - Discretion of trial court on the issue of costs Whether Court of Appeal will interfere with

JURISPRUDENCE - Judge - Role of as an umpire in Nigerian jurisprudential system

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Court - Record of proceedings thereof -  Purpose of


PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Defective writ - Plaintiff who applied for same to be set aside - Whether need to further file a notice of discontinuance

Issues:

1.              Was there breach of the appellant’s fundamental right to fair hearing on the issue of costs?

2.              Assuming but not conceding that there was no breach of the appellant’s right to fair hearing on the issue of costs, did the learned trial Judge exercise his discretion to award the costs judicially and judiciously before awarding the total costs of N400,000.00 (that is N100,000.00 per respondent) to all the respondents.

Facts:

Plaintiff instituted this action against the defendants at the High Court of Abuja claiming damages for libel. By an ex-parte application filed on 5th February, the same date that the suit was instituted, plaintiff was granted leave on 10th February to issue and serve the writ in Lagos where the defendants were resident. Another ex-parte order was made to serve the 4th defendant by substituted means on 25th February 1999. Subsequently, the 1st - 3rd defendants filed an application praying the court for an order to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction, in the alternative to set aside the issuance of the writ on the ground that the writ of summons was purportedly issued on 5th February before the leave to issue and serve the writ outside jurisdiction of the court was given. The 4th defendant also filed an application praying the court to inter alia strike out the suit on the ground of jurisdiction.

At the hearing of the applications, plaintiff’s counsel orally applied that the writ and services of the writ be set aside as prayed by the defendant. Before the next adjourned date for continuation of hearing of the application, plaintiff filed a notice of discontinuance. The trial court discontinued the action and on the application of the defendants, the court awarded N100,000.00 as costs for each of the defendants.

Dissatisfied, the plaintiff appealed to the Court of Appeal against the order for costs.