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Fatunbi v. Olanloye

OLUSOLA FATUNBI

ALABI BANGBOYE

( For themselves and on behalf of Fatunbi & Morenikeji  Ruling Houses of Igbogila)

V

EBENEZER O. OLANLOYE

EGBADO NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT

COMMISSIONER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

MILITARY GOVERNOR OF OGUN STATE

SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

IDRIS LEGBO KUTIGI, JSC ( Presided )

ANTHONY IKECHUKWU IGUH, JSC

AKINTOLA OLUFEMI EJIWUNMI, JSC

DAHIRU MUSDAPHER, JSC

IGNATIUS C. PATS ACHOLONU, JSC ( Read the Lead Judgment )

SC. 24/2000

FRIDAY, 25TH JUNE, 2004

ACTION - Reliefs not claimed by parties - Grant of by court - Impropriety of

APPEAL - Improvision of case on appeal - Impropriety of

APPEAL - Issues for determination - Arguments and addresses of counsel -  Need to flow from the issues for determination

APPEAL - Issues for determination - Where main issue collapses - Whether renders subordinate issues academic

APPEAL - Relief not claimed before trial court - Claim of on appeal -

Impropriety of

APPEAL - Whether renders subordinate issues academic

COURT - Supreme Court - Concurrent findings of facts of lower courts

-  When Supreme Court will interfere with

EVIDENCE - Incredible evidence - Test and effect of

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Mistakes and errors in judgment of trial court - When will result in appeal being allowed

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Academic issues - Collapse of main issue for determination - Whether renders subordinate ones academic

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Concurrent findings of fact - When Supreme Court will interfere with

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Reliefs not claimed before trial court Claim of on appeal - Impropriety of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Reliefs not claimed by parties - Grant of by court - Impropriety of

STATUTE - Illiterates Protection Law (Cap. 47) Laws of Ogun State 1978 -  Section 3 thereof - Purpose of - Effect of non-compliance therewith

STATUTE - Illiterates protection - Section 3  of Illiterates Protection Law (Cap. 47) Laws of Ogun State 1978 - Purpose of - Effect of non-compliance therewith

Issues:

1.              Whether Oshin is a Ruling House or infact the Ruling House, and which of the contending persons should be the Baale of Igbogila.

2.              Whether the lower court was right in holding that section 3 of Illiterates Protection Law of Ogun State was complied with by DW1 and that the appellants have failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that there was fraud, rigging or manipulations of votes as alleged by them.

3.              Whether from the abundant evidence on record, Oshin Ruling House can be said to be the only Ruling House that exists in Igbogila.

Facts:

The dispute giving rise to the litigation on appeal arose in the course

of the selection, appointment and approval of the successor to the stool of Baale of Igbogila in the Isokan Local Government Area of Ogun State. A vacancy occurred on the stool in 1979. The Secretary to the Local Government in the usual manner invited the Ruling House to nominate candidates for the vacant stool.

The 1st respondent and the two appellants were nominated by the representatives of the Ruling House. But in 1982, the kingmakers by a majority of 3 votes selected and recommended the approval of the 1st respondent as the Baale. Eventually, the 1st respondent’s selection was approved by the State Government. Dissatisfied with the approval of the 1 st respondent’s appointment, the appellants instituted an action claiming declaratory and injunctive reliefs. The trial High Court set aside the appointment of the 1st respondent. On appeal, the Court of Appeal allowed the respondent’s appeal, set aside the decision of the trial court, and dismissed plaintiffs/appellants’ claim.

Being further aggrieved, the plaintiffs/appellants have appealed to the Supreme Court, contending that there is no Oshin Ruling House in

Igbogila, and that there was a breach of section 3 of the Illiterates Protection Law (cap. 47) Laws of Ogun State 1978.

Section 3 of the Illiterates Protection Law provides:

“Any person who shall write any letter or document at the request, on behalf or in the name of any illiterate person shall also write on such letter or other document, his own name as the writer thereof and his address: and his so doing shall be equivalent to a statement:-

(a)           That he was instructed to write such letter or document by the person for whom it purports to have been written and that the letter or document fully and correctly represents his instruction: and

(b)           If the letter or document purport to be signed with the signature or mark of the illiterate person, that prior to its being so signed, it was read over and explained to the illiterate person, and that the signature or mark was made by such person”.