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  • 2004-12-27
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Mandara v. Amin

ALHAJI ZANNA BUKAR MANDARA

V

HAROUN AHMED AMIN

( for himself and on behalf of the heirs of Alh.Ahmed Amin)

MINISTRY OF LAND AND SURVEY

ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF BORNO STATE

COURT OF APPEAL

( HOLDEN IN MAIDUGURI )

( KADUNA DIVISION )

M. S. M-COOMASSIE JCA (Presided and Read the Lead Judgment)

DALHATU ADAMU JCA

AMIRU SANUSI JCA

CA/J/126/93

MONDAY, 19TH APRIL, 2004

ACTION - Applicable law to and appropriate court to adjudicate upon -  Determination of

COURT - Action - Appropriate court to adjudicate over a matter and applicable law to - Determination of

COURT - High Court – Jurisdiction of to try cases - Limitation to

COURT - High Court - When can assume jurisdiction over a matter

ISLAMIC LAW AND PROCEDURE - Islamic law and English law Proceedings under - Differences between

ISLAMIC LAW AND PROCEDURE - Islamic Personal Law - Governing statutory provision - Constitution and not State laws as the governing law

JURISDICTION - High Court - Jurisdiction of to try cases - Limitation to

JURISDICTION - High Court - When can assume jurisdiction over a matter

JURISDICTION - Islamic Personal Law - Claims under - Impropriety of High Court adjudicating upon

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - English Law and Islamic Law Proceedings under - Distinction between

Issues:

1.              Whether having regard to the facts of this case, the trial court was right in law in holding that the Area Court was not competent to sell the house in question for want of jurisdiction.

2.              Whether the High Court, in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, is competent to set aside the orders of an Area Court made in the course of adjudication of a dispute, which can be attributed to estate succession under Islamic Law.

3.              Whether having regard to the substance of the action, the High Court is competent to exercise original jurisdiction in the matter.

4.              Whether the High Court was right in all the circumstances of the suit, to have made the orders and declarations as it did.

5.              Whether the plaintiff was competent on the facts of this case to have brought the action in a representative capacity.

6.              Whether the court made proper use of the advantage of seeing and hearing the witnesses testify and drawing proper conclusion from the printed evidence.

Facts:

The 1st respondent, Haroun Adamu Amin, sued the defendants in a representative capacity in the High Court of Justice, Maiduguri , Borno State, claiming among others a declaration that their father, Alhaji Ahmed

Amin, was in his lifetime the owner of the developed land situate at plot 15 Church Road, Maiduguri; that the heirs of Alhaji Ahmed Amin are joint holders by inheritance of the property and that the purported sale and purchase of the said property by Yerwa Area Court 1, Maiduguri and the 1 st defendant/appellant is a nullity. The 1st defendant/appellant, on the other hand, claimed that the land in dispute had been transferred from the first title holder to the 1st defendant. The Ministry of Lands and Survey and the Attorney-General of Borno State were joined as 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.

At the end of the trial, all the plaintiff’s claims succeeded and judgment was given in his favour. Aggrieved, the 1st defendant/appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal to resolve six issues, the most important of which is the issue of jurisdiction of the trial court, to try matters pertaining to Islamic Personal Law.