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  • 2005-08-15
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K.T.P. Ltd. vs. Gloede & Hoff (Nig.) Ltd

KANO TEXTILE PRINTERS LTD.

V

GLOEDE AND HOFF (NIG.) LTD.

SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

IDRIS LEGBO KUTIGI JSC ( Presided )

AKINTOLA OLUFEMI EJIWUNMI JSC

DAHIRU MUSDAPHER JSC

DENNIS ONYEJIFE EDOZIE JSC ( Read the Lead Judgment )

SUNDAY AKINOLA AKINTAN JSC

SC. 98/2002

FRIDAY, 27TH MAY, 2005

APPEAL - Ground of appeal - Ground of law, fact and mixed law and fact - How identified

APPEAL - Ground of appeal and issues for determination - Need for to derive from judgment appealed against

APPEAL - Leave to appeal - Ground requiring leave of court to file - Where filed without leave - Effect

Issue:

Whether the learned trial Judge was right when after the proceeding of 12/3/97 he adjourned the matter for judgment when the defendant had not cross-examined the plaintiff’s witness or presented its own case. Or in the alternative, whether from the circumstances of the case the defendant has been afforded a fair hearing.

Facts:

The respondent as plaintiff sued the appellant in the Kano State

High Court claiming the sum of US$ 341,759.79 (three hundred and forty[2005]  All FWLR                     K.T.P. Ltd. vs. Gloede & Hoff (Nig.) Ltd.                             255 one thousand, seven hundred and fifty-nine United States dollars, seventynine cents) being the balance of the price of goods supplied to the defendant. It also claimed in the alternative against the defendant as drawer of several bills of exchange, for the balance of the total sum due in the amount of US$ 341,759.79  payable to the plaintiff which bills were duly presented for payment and dishonoured to the acknowledgment of the defendant. After issues were joined and the matter fixed for hearing, it suffered several adjournments at the instance of the defendant. On 30th October, 1996, with both counsel present, the matter was adjourned for hearing, but the hearing did not hold that day. On the next adjourned date, the defendant and his counsel were absent but a letter requesting for a further adjournment was sent to the court. On the day the matter was adjourned to, the defendant and his counsel were yet absent in court and after the plaintiff gave evidence, the court reserved judgment for a further date and issued new hearing notices to the defendant. Judgment was eventually entered for the plaintiff.

The defendant was dissatisfied and appealed to the Court of Appeal, basing the appeal on several grounds including lack of fair hearing. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. Still dissatisfied, the defendant now appellant further appealed to the Supreme Court. In determining the appeal, the Supreme Court considered the competence or otherwise of the grounds of appeal and issues distilled therefrom.