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C.G.G. (Nig.) Ltd. vs. Ogu

C.G.G. (NIGERIA) LIMITED

V

CHIEF LAWRENCE OGU

( For himself and as representing the Umu-Ogonim unit of

Enyike family of Obor town in Ogba/Egbeme/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State)

SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

AKINTOLA OLUFEMI EJIWUNMI JSC (Presided)

NIKI TOBI JSC ( Read the Lead Judgment )

DAHIRU MUSDAPHER JSC

GEORGE ADESOLA OGUNTADE JSC

SUNDAY AKINOLA AKINTAN JSC

SC. 303/2000

FRIDAY, 18TH FEBRUARY, 2005

COURT - Federal High Court - Jurisdiction of - Exclusiveness of over civil causes arising from mines and minerals and related matters COURT - Jurisdiction of - What determines

COURT - Trial and appellate courts - Issue of jurisdiction - Power to determine vested in

JURISDICTION - Civil causes in mines and minerals and related matters -  Jurisdiction on - Exclusiveness of in Federal High Court

JURISDICTION - Issue of - Power to determine vested in trial and appellate courts

JURISDICTION - Issue of - When can be raised

JURISDICTION - Jurisdiction of court - What determines


STATUTE - Court of Appeal Act, 1990, section 16 - Purport of STATUTE - Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act, 1990 - Purport of

Issue:

Whether the Court of Appeal ought not to have resolved the issue of jurisdiction and refrain from remitting same as a consequential relief

Facts:

The respondent as plaintiff in the High Court of Rivers State, sued the appellant as the defendant, claiming the sum of N3,120,000.00 (three million, one hundred and twenty thousand naira) as special and general damages as a result of alleged wrongful and reckless acts of the appellant in breaking and entering into the respondent’s farmland by cutting several seismic lines resulting in wanton destruction of the respondent’s cash/ economic crops and trees, fish ponds, juju shrines and farmhouse.

The appellant on the other hand urged the trial court to strike out the action for want of jurisdiction as the action arose from the shooting of explosives and other geological survey activities in the course of oil exploration activities in the oil field.

The trial court did not consider the issue of jurisdiction; it rather dismissed the action for non-compliance with Order 24, rule 2 of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules of Rivers State, 1987.

The appellant was not satisfied and it appealed to the Court of Appeal. The court allowed the appeal and remitted the case to the trial court to determine the issue of jurisdiction. The appellant, not yet satisfied, appealed to the Supreme Court.