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Jeu v. Dolo

KADUNA KENDEBE JEU

NUHU DWANABI

LAMIND YAJI LAKURO

BABA JEU MINITA BANJIRAM

DAUDA BOIMA BANJIRAM

TEMON ZIRIWA BANJIRAM

HAISTON JESMIEL LAKURO

V

MORRISSION DOLO

BULAMA GOBE

NAKETEBE GUGULI

LONGUDA TRADITIONAL COUNCIL

COURT OF APPEAL

( YOLA DIVISION )

ZAINAB A. BULKACHUWA JCA ( Presided )

TOM SHAIBU YAKUBU JCA

ITA GEORGE MBABA JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

CA/J/93/2009

WEDNESDAY, 29 JUNE 2011

APPEAL - Record of proceedings of trial court - Right of appellate court to peruse

APPEAL - Trial court - Record of proceedings of - Right of appellate court to peruse

EVIDENCE - Piece of - When contradictory -  Attitude of court thereto

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Judgment of court  -  When court delivered outside the statutory 90 days prescribed for -

Impropriety of - Party who alleges miscarriage of justice occasioned by - Duty on to establish same - Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, section 294(1) considered

JUSTICE - Miscarriage of justice - Meaning of - When should be declared

LEGAL PRACTITIONER - Counsel - Duty of to serially number witnesses and correctly spell words in brief

PLEADINGS - Averment therein as determinant of resolution of parties’ claim at trial - Credible evidence in support of - Duty on party to lead

PLEADINGS - Pleading - Bindingness of on parties - Evidence led at variance with - Irrelevance of

STATUTE - Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 , section 294(1) - Judgment of court - Where delivered outside the statutory 90 days prescribed for - Impropriety of - Party who alleges miscarriage of justice occasioned by -  Duty on to establish same

Issues:

  1. Whether the trial court was wrong when it delivered judgment 10  months, 23 days after the close of final addresses by counsel, a period of 7 months and 33 days outside the statutory period provided by the Constitution and if the answer to the question is in the affirmative, whether appellants suffered any miscarriage of justice.
  2. Whether the trial court was right when it held that there was a material contradiction in the evidence of PW2 and PW5 and that there is no evidence to prove the averment in paragraph 13  of the plaintiffs’ statement of claim.
  3. Whether the trial court was right when it held that the appellants failed to prove their case to be entitled to judgment.

Facts:

The plaintiffs and the defendants are members of one of the ruling families in Lakoro village, Adamawa State. The plaintiffs claimed in the High Court of Adamawa State that their family was further divided into two, with one side having the sole right to the stool and the other having the right to select the village head. The plaintiffs claimed that the 1st plaintiff belonged to the first side, therefore the selection of the 1st defendant who belonged to the other side was invalid. They prayed the court for declarations that; the 1st defendant was not eligible for the position of the village head, order of injunction restraining the 4th defendant from installing the 1st defendant as village head and order directing the 4th defendant to install the 1 st plaintiff as chief of Lakoro. The defendants denied  plaintiffs’ claims, arguing that any member of the family could aspire to be the chief. The trial court dismissed plaintiffs’ claims. Aggrieved, the plaintiffs appealed to the Court of Appeal.

In determination of the appeal, the Court of Appeal considered the following statute;

Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, section 294(5): “The decision of a court shall not be set aside or treated as a nullity solely on the ground of non-compliance with the provisions of subsection (1) of this section unless the court exercising jurisdiction by way of appeal from or review of that decision is satisfied that the party complaining has suffered a miscarriage of justice by reason thereof.”