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  • 2000-11-06
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Dejonwo v. Dejonwo

MRS. (DR.) ABIMBOLA DEJONWO

MR. IBRAHIM DEJONWO

V

MISS BIDEMI DEJONWO

MR. TOKUNBO DEJONWO

ALHAJI A. BALOGUN AGBAJE

ALHAJA ADIAT ADENIJI

SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

M. LAWAL UWAIS, CJN ( Presided )

M. EKUNDAYO OGUNDARE, JSC ( Read the Lead Judgment )

UTHMAN MOHAMMED, JSC

SYLVESTER UMARU ONU, JSC

A. IKECHUKWU IGUH, JSC

SC.59/1994

FRIDAY, 10TH MARCH, 2000.

APPEAL - Respondent’s Notice - Party seeking order of court deeming Respondent’s Notice erroneously filed as a cross-appeal - Futility of

COURT - Judgment and orders - Pronouncements of court outside the purview of questions raised before the court - Effect of

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Pronouncement of Court outside the purview of questions raised before the court - Effect of

Issue:

Whether having regards to the facts before the Court of Appeal, the court was right in making an order directing the appellants together with the 1st and 2nd respondents to apply to the Probate Registrar for letters of Administration of the estate of Late Otunba Adebayo Dejonwo.

Facts:

On the death intestate of Otunba Adebayo Dejonwo, on the 13th of November, 1989, the Appellants who described themselves as the widow and elder brother respectively of the deceased applied by way of originating summons to the High Court for an order directing the Probate Registrar to take appropriate step or steps  to enable them obtain Letters of Administration in respect of the estate of the deceased.  The 1st and 2nd respondents, who are two of the eight children of the deceased born to him by eight different mothers were named as defendants to the summons.  The 1 st Appellant was the mother of one of the eight children, who at the commencement of proceedings of the High Court was a minor.  In opposing the originating summons, the respondents contended inter alia that the marriage of the 1st appellant to the deceased was dissolved by a decree nisi on 6th May, 1986 in the lifetime of the deceased.  The originating summons was dismissed by the trial court.  Dissatisfied, the appellants appealed to the Court of Appeal which court allowed the appeal in part by declaring that the appellants, though entitled to be granted Letters of Administration, were not the only persons so entitled, accordingly the court made an order that the appellants together with the 1st and 2nd respondents should file fresh applications for Letters of Administration of the deceased’s estate.

Still dissatisfied, the appellants appealed to the Supreme Court, which court dismissed the appeal as being futile, as the decision of the Court of Appeal, not being prejudicial to the interest of the Appellants, has resolved the issues raised in the originating summons and done complete justice to the parties.