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  • 2001-01-15
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Douglas v. Douglas

DIMKPA KALA-AMADI DOUGLAS

V

SOKARI D. DOUGLAS

BOMA DOUGLAS

( For themselves and as representing the Dokubo Onunu family of Douglas Compound, Abonnema in Degema Local Government Area in Rivers State)

COURT OF APPEAL

( PORT HARCOURT DIVISION )

JAMES OGENYI OGEBE, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

IGNATIUS CHUKWUDI PATS-ACHOLONU, JCA

ABOYI JOHN IKONGBEH, JCA

CA/PH/236/90

THURSDAY, 25TH MAY, 2000.

APPEAL - Findings of fact by trial court - Attitude of appeal court thereto COURT - Duty of court not to embark on academic issues

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Proper order - Absence of locus standi Proper order to make - Striking out or dismissal

LOCUS STANDI - Absence of locus standi - Consequential order to be made by court - Striking out or dismissal

Issue:

Whether or not the appellant was a full member of Onunu Douglas family to entitle him to sue other members of the family in respect of family land.

Facts:

The appellant’s claim against the respondents was for a declaration that a piece of land known and called “Onunu Douglas Kiri” lying in Douglas Compound in Abonnema was the property of Onunu Douglas family of Douglas Compound in Abonnema and not the exclusive property of the respondents.  He also sought for a perpetual injunction to restrain the respondents from dealing with the land without his consent, knowledge and approval.

The appellant gave evidence at the trial that he was a descendant of Onunu family through adoption, his father Kala-Amadi being the son of one of the adopted children of Onunu Douglas.  The respondents, on the other hand gave evidence to the effect that appellant was an illegitimate child of his parents and did not qualify to inherit Onunu Douglas’ land.  It was their case that the appellant belonged to the Graham Douglas family and not Onunu Douglas family because his mother was not married under the “Iya” customary system of marriage.

The trial court dismissed the appellant’s claim on the ground that he was not a proper member of the Onunu Douglas family and had no locus standi to sue for the disputed land.  The appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.