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Danesi v. Yerima

CHIEF MOMOH DANESI & OTHERS

( For themselves and on behalf of Danesi Branch of Okhokho ruling house of Iyakpe, South Ibie)

V

CHIEF MUSA YERIMA & OTHERS

(For themselves and on behalf of Oghiator Branch of Okhokho ruling house of Iyakpe, South Ibie)

V

CHIEF MOMOH DANESI & OTHERS

( For themselves and on behalf of Danesi Branch of Okhokho ruling house of Iyakpe, South Ibie)

V

CHIEF SHAIBU OSHOLEMOH & OTHERS

(For and on behalf of Oghiator branch of Okhokho ruling house of South Ibie)

COURT OF APPEAL

( BENIN CITY DIVISION )

RABIU DANLAMI MUHAMMAD JCA ( Presided )

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

KUMAI BAYANG AKAAHS JCA

CA/B/9/2001

MONDAY, 7TH APRIL, 2003

ACTION - Pre-action notice - Non-compliance with need to issue Failure to plead and raise timeously - Effect - Whether amounts to waiver of right

APPEAL - Fresh or new issues - Need for leave of court before raising an appeal


CHIEFTAINCY MATTERS - Registered Chieftaincy Declaration - Nature of - Legal significance of

CHIEFTAINCY MATTERS - Registered Chieftaincy Declaration - Where subsists - Efficacy of

CHIEFTAINCY MATTERS - Registered Declaration - Customs or usages stated therein - Needlessness of further evidence to establish When evidence of customary law necessary

CHIEFTAINCY LAW - Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict, 1979 applicable in Edo State - Section 14 (1) (c) thereof - Purport of vis-a-vis duty of secretary to Traditional Council to announce inability of a ruling house to produce candidate to fill the vacancy of Aidonogie of Iyakpi, South Ibie, Edo State

LOCUS STANDI - Meaning of

STATUTE - Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict, 1979 applicable in Edo State - Section 14 (1) (c) thereof - Purport of vis-a-vis duty of secretary to Traditional Council to announce inability of a ruling house to produce candidate to fill the vacancy of Aidonogie of Iyakpi, South Ibie, Edo State WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Locus standi’ - Meaning

Issues:

1.              Whether Alhaji Aliyu Kelvin Danesi is eligible for nomination, selection and approval as Aidonogie of South Ibie clan under the Registered Declaration and Traditional Rulers and Chief Edict, 1979.

2.              Whether the counter-claimants/respondents proved their case in the trial court as required by law and were therefore entitled to judgment.

Facts:

This appeal emanated from two (consolidated) suits in respect of the selection of a new Aidonogie (Clan head) for South Ibie in Estako West Local Government Area of Edo State after the demise of I.M.J. Umaru, the incumbent Aidonogie.

It was common ground between the parties that there is only one ruling house in South Ibie i.e. the Okhokho ruling house which is made up of two (2) branches namely, Danesi branch and Oghiator branch. The parties were also agreed that after the death of the incumbent Aidonogie, it was the turn of the Danesi branch to present a qualified candidate to fill the stool. However, while the respondents maintained that the candidate to be presented, to be qualified, must be the eldest surviving son of the last clan head from the branch whose turn it is to produce the next Aidonogie which assertion is in conformity with the provisions of the Declaration of Customary Law regulating succession to Traditional Rulers Title (Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict 1979) B.S.N.L 136 of 1979, applicable in Edo State; the appellants contended that any person from any of the branches whose turn it is to present a candidate is qualified to fill the vacant stool.

The appellants presented the 4th appellant who is not a direct son of the last Aidonogie from the Danesi branch. The respondents opposed this and presented the 4th respondent, contending that since the Danesi branch does not have a qualified candidate, they are entitled to present one. In his judgment, the learned trial Judge granted the appellants claim in part but refused the prayers for injunction and nullification of the candidature of the 4 th respondent.

Dissatisfied, the appellants appealed to the Court of Appeal.