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  • SCOA Nig. Ltd v. J. A. Kehinde & Sons Nig. Ltd
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  • 2004-05-17
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SCOA Nig. Ltd v. J. A. Kehinde & Sons Nig. Ltd

S.C.O.A. NIGERIA LIMITED

V

J. A. KEHINDE & SONS NIG. LTD.

COURT OF APPEAL

( IBADAN DIVISION )

MURITALA AREMU OKUNOLA, JCA ( Presided )

SAKA ADEYEMI IBIYEYE, JCA

VICTOR A. OYELEYE OMAGE, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

CA/I/243/01

TUESDAY, 10TH JUNE, 2003

APPEAL - Findings of trial court - When appellate court will interfere therewith

COURT - Findings of trial court - When appellate court will interfere therewith

COURT - Legal conclusion of courts - Where drawn from

EVIDENCE - Proof - Where no wrong is proved - Whether there can be penalty

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Penalty - Whether there can be penalty where no wrong is proved

TORT - Detinue - Right therein - When occurs - Whether can occur where goods belonging to another are detained to the knowledge and consent of the owner

Issues:

1. Whether in the absence of a finding by the trial court of a breach of contract against the defendant/appellant; a subsequent award of damages against it has not occasioned a miscarriage of justice.

2.             Whether the trial court was not wrong in law when it awarded damages not specifically claimed by the plaintiff.

3.             Whether it does not amount to an arbitrary and double compensation for the trial Judge to have initially awarded N20,000 against the defendant for the loss of the plaintiff’s chickens occasioned by the inavailability of a vehicle, and later award of N40,000 as damages for costs incurred by the plaintiff in paying its staff and cost of alternative transportation due to the same reason.

Facts:

The chairman of the respondent sometime in February 1988 gave instruction to his employee to take the company’s vehicle, a Mitsubishi Canter, to the appellant’s workshop at Abeokuta for the appellant to rectify the problem of engine oil consumption in the said vehicle, at a cost of not more than N3,500. By a letter, dated 18th June 1989, the appellant asked the respondent to go to its workshop at Abeokuta to collect the said vehicle upon the payment of the sum of N11,309.00 being costs of the repairs of the said vehicle. Following the letter the respondent went to Abeokuta workshop of the appellant on 7/6/89 and found that the vehicle could not work. The respondent then demanded to see the inventory of the parts supplied to the car, and equally directed that the appellant should do nothing on the vehicle until he revisits the appellant with his engineer. Consequently, the appellant did nothing on the vehicle and the respondent too refused to visit the appellant with his engineer until the appellant wrote to inform the respondent that the appellant would close its Abeokuta workshop and will transfer and take to Ibadan the respondent’s vehicle if the respondent fails to collect his vehicle at Abeokuta workshop. After exchange of series of communication, the respondent’s vehicle was transferred to appellant’s workshop at Ibadan. The appellant thereafter submitted another list of the repairs required to be carried out on the vehicle which list the respondent rejected.

In about March 1991, the respondent wrote and demanded the return of his vehicle back to Abeokuta, the appellant equally wrote and demanded the payment of the unpaid bill by the respondent. As the negotiation between the parties failed, the respondent as plaintiff instituted this action against the appellant claiming the return of his vehicle packed at the Ibadan workshop of the appellant since June 1989 and damages for breach of contract.

The appellant counter claimed for the sum of N11,309.00 being costs of repairs of respondent’s vehicle, the sum of N250.00 per month for the storage of the respondent’s car in its garage and interest thereon at 15% from June 1989.

At the conclusion of the trial, the trial court gave its judgment and made the following awards in the respondent’s favour.

(1)           The sum of N20,000 damages for the loss of chickens by respondent since 1991.

(2)           The sum of N40,000 damages for expenses incurred on staff transportation since 1991.

(3)           The sum of N154,820 being the amount due to the respondent for the repairs of the vehicle.

(4)           Immediate release of respondent’s vehicle.

(5)           N50,000 cost to be paid to respondent by appellant.

The trial court concluded that the appellant shall be entitled to judgment for N11,084,56 in its counter claim with N100.00 costs.

Being dissatisfied, the appellant has appealed to the Court of