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Farinre vs. Alaka-Coker

DR. TIMOTHY FARINRE

V

MR. KOLAPO ALAKA-COKER

BOLDSTEP LIMITED

COURT OF APPEAL

( LAGOS DIVISION )

GEORGE A. OGUNTADE, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

SULEIMAN GALADIMA, JCA

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD, JCA

CA/L/470/2000

MONDAY, 2ND DECEMBER, 2002

ACTION - Cause of action - How to determine when a cause of action accrued and jurisdiction of court thereon

COMPANY LAW AND PRACTICE - Agreement to purchase shares for and on behalfof one party  from a  third-party company - Whether to be construed as a matter arising from the operation of the Companies and Allied Matters Act or any other enactment regulating the operation of companies

COURT - Jurisdiction of - Whether depends on existing law at the time the cause of action arose or at the time the jurisdiction of court is invoked

COURT - Mistake made by a court - Whether it is every mistake that will lead to reversal of the conclusion arrived at

JURISDICTION - Court - Jurisdiction of - Whether depends on existing law at the time the cause of action arose or at the time the jurisdiction of court is invoked

Issues:

1.              Whether the provisions of section 251(1)(e)  of the  1999 Constitution was applicable to determine the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court to entertain the appellant’s claim in the suit.

2.              Whether the appellant joined A.G. Leventis Plc as the 3rd defendant in the suit herein.

3.              Whether the appellant was an existing shareholder of A.G. Leventis Plc as at December 1994?

4.              Whether the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the appellant’s claim in this suit.

Facts:

The appellant as plaintiff claimed for:

(a)           Specific performance of the agreement between the 1st and 2 nd defendants made in December, 1994 for the purchase of 309,597  ordinary shares of A.G. Leventis Plc on the plaintiff’s behalf.

(b)           The sum of N122,290.81 (one hundred and twenty-two thousand, two hundred and ninety naira eighty one kobo) being loss of dividends payable by A.G. Leventis Plc. on the said shares from December, 1994 to date which loss is still containing.

After the exchange of pleadings, the defendants/respondents filed an application that the suit be struck out on the ground that the Federal High Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain it. The trial court heard the application, and gave a ruling that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter, and consequently made an order transferring the case to the Lagos High Court.

Dissatisfied, the appellant filed this appeal.