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Yampa v. Babareke

676                                 All Federation Weekly Law Reports                       4 September 2017

 

                     1. BABAKANGE ETSU YAMPA
                     2. NDASALA (BABA SAMU)
                     3. YISSA WANZIKO
                     4. NDAGBON
                            V
                     1. ALHAJI ZUBAIR ALIYU BABAREKE
                     2. ALHAJI SAIDU LAWAL ONIREKE


                               COURT OF APPEAL
                               (ILORIN DIVISION)

MOHAMMED LADAN TSAMIYA JCA (Presided)
HUSSEIN MUKHTAR JCA
UCHECHUKWU ONYEMENAM JCA (Re ad the Lead
Judgment)
                                                                                                       CA/IL/56A/2013
                                                                                     MONDAY, 21 MARCH 2016
APPEAL - Fresh issue on appeal - Raising of - Need to seek
   and obtain leave of court before - Failure to so do -
Effect - When court will grant such leave
APPEAL - Issue for determination - Need to distil from grounds
   of appeal - Where not so distilled - Effect
COURT - State High Court - Unlimited jurisdiction in civil or
   criminal proceedings - Nigeria constitution as the only                                                                         Law can oust the jurisdiction of the State High Court -
   Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999,
    Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1979;
    section 236, Kwara State Boundary Law, section 11
    construed
CUSTOMARY LAW - Customary tenancy - Existence of -
     Whether the receipt of customary tribute is evidence of -
     The case of Dashi & 3 Ors. v. Satlong & Anor. (2009) 1
   - 2 SC 5 distinguished from instant case
CUSTOMARY LAW - Customary tenancy - Non-payment of
   tributes to landlord - Whether vitiates existence of
CUSTOMARY LAW - Customary tenancy - Vital characteristics
    of
CUSTOMARY LAW - Customary tenancy - What it entails
CUSTOMARY LAW - Nature of - Need for evidential proof of
   - Evidence Act, 2011, sections 16, 17 and 73 construed
EVIDENCE - Cross-examination of a witness - Party’s failure
    to undertake - Consequence of
JUDICIAL PRECEDENT - Dashi & 3 Ors v. Satlong (2009) 1 - 2
    SC 5 distinguished from the instant case - Whether payment
     of tribute is evidence of existence of customary tenancy
JURISDICTION - State High Court - Unlimited jurisdiction in
   civil or criminal proceedings - Nigerian Constitution as
   the only limitation to - Whether the Kwara State Local
   Boundary Law can limit the jurisdiction of the State High
Court - Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,                                                                         1999, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
    1979; section 236, Kwara State Boundary Law, section
    11 construed
JURISDICTION - Jurisdiction of court over a matter -
     Determinants of - Plaintiff’s claim and pleadings as
JURISDICTION - Ouster of - Statute ousting - Need for clear
     and unambiguous provisions for
LEGISLATION - Jurisdiction of court - Statute ousting - Need
     for provisions of to be clear and unambiguous
STATUTE - Local Boundary Settlement Law Cap. L7, Laws of
     Kwara State, 2006, sec tion 11(1) - Whe ther ousts
      jurisdiction of the State High Court - Sections 6 and 272
    of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
     1999 and section 236 of the 1999 Constitution considered
STATUTE - Evidence Act 2011, sections 16, 17 and 73 -
     Customary law - Need for evidential proof of


Issues:
1. Whethe r the learned trial judge could assume
jurisdiction over this suit since it is a boundary
dispute between Edu Local Government and Ifelodun
Local Government Areas of Kwara State, which had
been settled by Kwara State Gazette No. 15, Vol. 44
of 23 September 2010.
2. Whether the learned trial judge was right in holding
tha t the appellants did not prove the issue of
jurisdiction raised in their statement of claim and
the evidence before the court.
3. Whether the learned trial judge was right in holding
that the appellants are customary tenants, when there                                                                      is no evidenc e of pa yment of tributes by the
appellants to the respondents

.
Facts:
    The respondents instituted an action at the High Court of
Kwara State, sitting at Ilorin wherein they sought inter alia,
declaration of court to be granted certificate of occupancy as
the rightful owners of Onireke family land, declaration of court
that the appellants, their customary tenants forfeited their tenancy
which was held under native law and custom when they failed to
pay the requisite tribute, Ishakole; order of perpetual injunction
restraining trespass, general damages put at N2,500,000.00 (two
million five hundred thousand naira) and the cost of filing the
suit.
   The trial court at the close of defence ordered the filing
and exchange of final written addresses. The appellants failed
to file their final written address which made it impossible for
the respondents to file theirs at the expiration of time for filing
addresses. The respondents urged the court to adjourn for
judgment based on the evidence before it.
     The court on the adjourned date for judgment in its
considered judgment, found for the respondents.
     Dissatisfied, the appellants appealed to the Court of
Appeal.