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  • 2017-06-17
  • CA/K/370/2013
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Yar'adua v. Bindawa

IBRAHIM BAWALE YAR’ADUA
V
UMAR ALI BINDAWA
COURT OF APPEAL
(KADUNA DIVISION)


UWANI MUSA ABBA AJI JCA (Presided)
IBRAHIM SHATA BDLIYA JCA (Read the Lead Judgment)
AMINA AUDI WAMBAI JCA

CA/K/370/2013
FRIDAY, 17 JUNE 2016

ACTION - Parties - Joinder of party to suit - Test applied in
determining - Essence of joinder - Rationale for
APPEAL - Issue raised suo motu and determined by court
without hearing parties - Impropriety of - Rationale
therefor
EVIDENCE - Declaration of title to land - Party seeking - Onus
on
EQUITY - Priority of interest - Doctrine of - Applicability of
where there exists competing claims to right of occupancy
LAND LAW - Declaration of title to land - Claimant seeking -

Onus on
LAND LAW - Right of occupancy - Party granted by proper
authority - Presumption raised thereby
LAND LAW - Right of occupancy - Subsequent grant of where
one already exists - Invalidity of
LAND LAW - Right of occupancy - Where there exists competing
claims to - Application of doctrine of priority of interest
therein
LAND LAW - Title to land - When competing claimants rely on
common grantor - Proper party to ascribe title to
PARTY - Joinder of party to suit - Test applied in determining -
Essence of - Rationale for

Issues:
1. Whether the lower court was right in dismissing appellant’s suit.
2. Whether the appellant was given fair hearing by the lower court when it misunderstood the case of the
appellant and raised suo motu the issue of suing a wrong party, and without giving the appellant an opportunity
to be heard, proceeded to dismiss the appellant’s suit.
3. Whether in the circumstances of the fact of this case, a party who alleged to have purchased a piece of land
could be said to prove the radical title without proving by evidence sale transaction between him, the seller
and subsequent vendors.
4. Whether the testimony of PW2 is not worthless and unsafe to rely on, the reason being that a substantial
part of the evidence is hearsay.
5. Whether having regards to the issuance of right of occupancy granted on 30 March 1998, tendered and admitted as exhibit 4 in favour of Abdul Hafiz Ado
Ali, there is any title remaining over which Usman Koguna could transfer to appellant/cross-respondent.

Facts:
The appellant instituted an action in the Katsina State High Court. He sought declaration of title to land. At trial, he led
evidence that he took possession and ownership of the disputed property after he purchased it from one Alhaji Usman Koguna.
He however allowed one Abdul Aziz Aliyu to cultivate the land. The land was registered at the land registry office at Katsina
and he was issued a right of occupancy.
The respondent claimed ownership of the same land relying on a right of occupancy granted earlier than the appellant’s. The
trial court after taking evidence of parties raised suo motu that the appellant ought to have sued one Abdul Afiz as respondent in
the suit.
The court in its considered judgment found for the respondent, dismissing the appellant’s suit.
Dissatisfied, the appellant appealed on grounds inter alia, that the court denied him fair hearing by raising suo motu the
issue of joinder of party and resolving same without his being heard on it. The respondent cross-appealed.