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Dakur v. Wedtet

AUTA DAKUR

V

GARBA WEDTET

COURT OF APPEAL

( JOS DIVISION )

AMIRU SANUSI JCA ( Presided )

IFEYINWA CECILIA NZEAKO JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

IKECHI FRANCIS OGBUAGU JCA

CA/J/29/2002

MONDAY, 14TH MARCH, 2005

APPEAL - Appellate court - Jurisdiction of - How determined

APPEAL - Customary Court of Appeal - Appellate powers of - Scope of

APPEAL - Ground of appeal - Omnibus ground of appeal - Meaning of

APPEAL - Ground of appeal - Omnibus ground of appeal - Raising of issue of error in law therein - Impropriety of

APPEAL - Null and void judgment of a court - Where appealed against - Effect

COURT - Customary Court of Appeal - Appellate powers of - Scope of COURT - Appellate court - Jurisdiction of - How determined

CUSTOMARY LAW - Questions of Customary Law - When a decision can be said to raise


JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Null and void judgment of a court Where appealed against - Effect

JURISDICTION - Appellate court - Jurisdiction of - How determined

JURISDICTION - Confirmation on court by acquiescence or failure of parties to raise issue of incompetence of court - Impossibility of

JURISDICTION - Issue of - Need for court to determine first

JURISDICTION - Issue of - When can be raised

JURISDICTION - Lack of jurisdiction by a court - Effect of on proceedings

Issues:

1.              Whether the lower court was right to have raised the issue of forfeiture suo motu and called on the counsel to address the court on it, an issue the respondent never canvassed at the trial court.

2.              Whether the respondent led conclusive evidence to establish that he inherited the disputed land from his father.

3.              Whether the respondent proved the alleged loan, described and identified with certainty the exact portion of the disputed land loaned to the appellant by him.

4.              Whether the trial court properly evaluated the traditional evidence led by the parties before ordering a retrial in the case before the same court.

Facts:

The respondent sued the appellant in the Upper Area Court of Plateau State. He alleged that he had inherited the land in dispute from his grandfather and had given the appellant land to build a house on. The appellant denied the claim and said he also inherited the land from his father. After hearing witnesses, the court found for the respondent. The appellant appealed to the Customary Court of Appeal which court ordered a retrial of the suit by the Area Court. The appellant intent on not returning to the same Judge wrote a letter to the president of the Court of Appeal to transfer the matter to another court which  request was granted by the president who transferred the matter to an Area Court in Mangu. The respondent declined to submit to the jurisdiction of the Area Court for the reason that he wanted a counsel to represent him and the matter was remitted again to the Upper Area Court. The appellant still dissatisfied appealed to the Customary Court of Appeal for the interpretation of its decision. This, the court refused to do. Aggrieved, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.