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  • R.S.H.P.D.A. v. Warmate
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  • 2015-06-08
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R.S.H.P.D.A. v. Warmate

RIVERS STATE HOUSING AND PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

V

RICHARD SOBERE WARMATE and 16 others

COURT OF APPEAL

( PORT HARCOURT DIVISION )

EJEMBI EKO JCA ( Presided )

MODUPE FASANMI JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

STEPHEN J. ADAH JCA

CA/PH/282/2010

THURSDAY, 15 MAY 2014

CONTRACT - Construction of - Proper approach of court to

CONTRACT - Terms of - Parties to - Bindingness of thereby - Court Attitude of thereto

LAND LAW - Estate - Sales agreement which affects - Encumbrance in -  Occupation by civil servants in a property - Whether constitutes

Issues:

  1. Whether the learned trial judge was right in holding that civil servants found in the property in dispute could not constitute an encumbrance within the intendment in the sales agreement exhibit ‘G’.
  2. Whether the learned trial judge did not misdirect himself when after finding that exhibit ‘G’ was validly entered into between the parties thereto, he turned around to rely on the unpleaded doctrines of equity and specific performance to hold that the appellant must specifically perform her obligation under exhibit ‘G’.
  3. Whether the learned trial judge was right in granting judgment to the 1st respondent as owner of the property in dispute by relying on extrinsic factors of improper cancellation/revocation, rather than on the binding terms in exhibit ‘G’.
  4. Whether the learned trial judge acted properly in this case by the way and manner he approached the clear issues at stake, which has thereby caused a miscarriage of justice.
  5. Whether the claimant/1st respondent proved his case as required by law to entitle him to the reliefs awarded him by the lower court.

Facts:

The 1st respondent claimed that the property situate at No. 22, Station Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was offered to him for sale by the appellant and after fulfilling all the conditions set out, the appellant gave possession of same to him vide  a letter. The 1st respondent further claimed that the letter directed the tenants on the property to vacate same, but that when he moved to take possession of the property, the occupants who were civil servants in the Rivers State Civil Service prevented him from doing so and upon complaint, the Rivers State Government directed that the sale be cancelled. Consequent upon this, the respondent commenced an action in the High Court of Rivers State, claiming declaratory relief that as owner of the property, he is entitled to possession, enjoyment, control and management of same, an order of perpetual injunction  restraining the appellant and the 3rd - 17th respondents from interfering with his possession, an order of court that the appellant issue him with a certificate of occupancy and for the 3rd to 17th respondents to pay rent. The trial court granted the 1 st respondent’s claims in part and refused the order for rent. Aggrieved, the appellant filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal, contending that the trial court erred by holding that the civil servants found in the property did not constitute encumbrance within the intendment in the sales agreement between the parties. The 1st respondent filed a preliminary objection to the appeal.