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  • Fasesan v. Coast Hotels & Restaurants Ltd
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  • 2004-08-02
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Fasesan v. Coast Hotels & Restaurants Ltd

ALHAJI CHIEF MUSENDIKU FASESAN

( Deceased )

ALHAJI HASSAN AKERELE

ALHAJI SUMONU SADIKU

RASAKI YINUSA

( For and on behalf of the Kuyasi-Awushe family of Onigbongbo)

V

COAST HOTELS & RESTAURANTS LTD.

LEADWAY PROPERTIES & INVESTMENTS LTD.

ELECTROSTATIC MENTAL AUDIO LTD.

ALHAJI CHIEF ISHOLA NOFIU

ALHAJI CHIEF BASHIRU ISHIAKA ( Deceased )

ALHAJI KABIRU YUSUF

HIGH COURT OF LAGOS STATE

( IKEJA DIVISION )

K.M.O. KEKERE-EKUN, J (Read the Ruling)

ID/2929/95

THURSDAY, 12TH FEBRUARY, 2004

ACTION - Contempt of court - Committal proceedings - Nature of Need to comply with procedures - Effect of non-compliance

CONTEMPT - Committal proceedings - Forms 48 and 49 - Reasons for

CONTEMPT - Committal proceedings - Nature of - Burden of proof therein - On whom lies

CONTEMPT - Committal proceedings - Need for strict compliance with procedures - Effect of non-compliance

CONTEMPT - Committal proceedings - Service of forms 48 and 49 therein - How effected

CONTEMPT - Contempt of court - Committal proceedings - Specific injunctive orders - Where made - What court must examine to determine burden of proof therein

CONTEMPT - Contempt of court - Persistent disobedience by contemnor after service of form 48 - Need for party alleging to depose to specific instances of such disobedience

CONTEMPT -  Contempt of court - Proof of - Mere allegation without proof - Insufficiency of

CONTEMPT - Violation of specific injunctive orders of court - Committal proceedings therefor - Need for court to examine nature and ambit of orders made

COURT - Contempt of court - Committal proceedings - Punishment based on allegation of disobedience without more - Need for court to be wary of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Committal proceedings - Forms 48 and 49 - Reasons for

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Committal proceedings - Nature of Need to comply with procedures - Effect of non-compliance

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Committal proceedings - Persistent disobedience by contemnor after service of form 48 - Deposition to same - Need to strictly depose to instances of disobedience

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Committal proceedings - Punishment of contempt based on allegation of disobedience without more Need for court to be wary of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Contempt of court - Committal proceedings - Nature of - Burden of proof therein - On whom lies

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Documents and contents of case file before court - Court referring to suo motu - Propriety of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Service of processes - Committal proceedings - Service of forms 48 and 49 therein - How effected PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Service of process - Service on company or corporation - How effected - Officer to be served Determinant of

Issues:

1.              Whether there was strict compliance with the procedure for service of forms 48 and 49 for committal proceedings by the plaintiffs.

2.              Whether the plaintiffs have shown that the respondent disobeyed the order of court.

Facts:

The plaintiff/applicant in this case initiated committal proceedings by filing form 49 seeking an order committing the 3rd defendant/respondent to prison for having disobeyed the order of court made on the 23rd of May 2003  enjoining the respondent, its servants, agents and/or privies  to maintain the status quo as at 23rd of May 2003 in respect of the parcel of land in dispute in this case.

Plaintiff maintained that the respondent, a registered company was duly served with form 48 through one Chibule Ani a representative of the company who had been attending court on its behalf but that inspite of such service respondent continued disobeying the order of court by demolishing buildings on the subject matter of dispute.

The respondent on its part submitted that committal proceedings  are quasi-criminal and therefore the standard of proof required is beyond reasonable doubt. It contended that plaintiff had not proved the alleged contempt contending that the issue and service of forms 48 and 49 was not done in strict compliance with the laid down procedure of Order IX, rule 13 of the Judgment (Enforcement) Rules and section 17 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act Cap. 407 LFN, 1990. It denied disobeying the court order.