- Crown Flour Mills Ltd. vs. Owodunni
- ₦ 200
Crown Flour Mills Ltd. vs. Owodunni
CROWN FLOUR MILLS LTD
ABDULAARASAQ OPEYEMI OWODUNNI
(Trading as Opeyemi Owodunni Enterprises)
COURT OF APPEAL
( ILORIN DIVISION )
ABOYI JOHN IKONGBEH JCA (
WALTER S. NKANU ONNOGHEN JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )
JAâ€™AFARU MIKAâ€™ILU JCA
7TH JULY, 2004
APPEAL - Issue for determination - Formulation of on grounds of appeal
- Effect of failure to so do
APPEAL - Issues for determination - Need for to arise/ flow from
grounds of appeal - Effect of non-compliance
- Abuse of court process - Meaning of
COURT - Appeal Court -
Whether can consider whether the affidavit in support of notice of intention to
defend an action under the undefended list procedure discloses any defence on
the merit to plaintiffâ€™s action.
COURT - High Court - Whether there are more than one established for
each state of the federation
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Undefended list procedure - Affidavit in
support of notice of intention to defend - When Appeal Court can consider
whether discloses any defence on the merit to the plaintiffâ€™s action
AND PROCEDURE - Struck out matters -
Party whose action is struck out - Right of to begin de novo by reinstituting
the action or by applying for it to be relisted WORDS AND PHRASES - â€˜Abuse of
court processâ€™ - Meaning of
Whether the plaintiffâ€™s suit was an abuse of courtâ€™s
process particularly after an earlier suit had been discontinued.
Whether on the totality of the materials before the
lower court, judgment should have been entered for the plaintiff taking into
consideration the fact that the suit was entered for hearing under the
There was a
business relationship between the appellant and respondent, in which the
appellant supplied its product, Supreme flour, to the respondent on credit for
sale to customers. The transactions resulted in an outstanding debt which the
appellant sought to recover by action. The respondent disputed the indebtedness
by contending that the relationship between the parties was that of distributorship
with agency No. 4002 in which the products of the appellant were supplied on
credit to the respondent who in turn, supplies to retailers appointed by the
appellant, also on credit. That payment is made by the respondent only when the
retailers pay for their previous supplies and collect fresh supplies. That the
appellant suddenly stopped the relationship and demanded payment from the
respondent for all goods supplied. Respondent further contended that the debt,
if any, is owed by the retailers.
relationship became more strained, the appellant reported to the Nigeria Police
Force who arrested the respondent. The respondent instituted an action for
enforcement of fundamental rights in the Federal High Court, Ilorin, which suit
was subsequently transferred to the Kwara State High Court of Justice and
renumbered as KWS/171/2001 and assigned to Hon. Justice Ojo.
appellant instituted suit No. KWS/106/2000 in the Kwara State High Court
sitting at Ilorin under the undefended list procedure claiming the sum of
N667,000.00 as debt due from and payable by the respondent to the appellant.
The suit was assigned to Hon. Justice Elelu Habeeb. The suit was later
discontinued and consequently struck out. The appellant, who had not counter-claimed
in suit No. KWS/171/2001 filed a motion therein asking for judgment in the sum
of N667,000.00 which motion was subsequently withdrawn by the appellant and
struck out by the court.
appellant later filed the present suit under the undefended list procedure
claiming the sum of N579,000.00 in the writ of summons but N567,000.00 in the
affidavit in support of application for issue of writ of summons.
filed notice of intention to defend the action and an affidavit of defence. He
equally contended in his argument inter
alia that the action was an abuse of process of court.
The trial court
upheld respondentâ€™s contention that the suit was an abuse of court process and
accordingly struck it out.
Dissatisfied, the appellant appealed to the Court of