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Nwani v. Bakari

DOMINIC NWANI

V

J. S. BAKARI

YOLA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

COURT OF APPEAL

( JOS DIVISION )

ALOMA M. MUKHTAR JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

OLUDADE OLADAPO OBADINA JCA

IKECHI FRANCIS OGBUAGU JCA

CA/J/247/2001

THURSDAY, 9 TH DECEMBER,  2004

APPEAL - Appellant - Definition of

APPEAL - Notice of appeal - Filing of - Payment of prescribed fees for -  Proof of

APPEAL - Notice of appeal - Receipt of filing of - Date on - Significance of

APPEAL - Notice of appeal - Rules of court in relation thereto - Noncompliance with - Attitude of courts thereto

APPEAL - Notice of appeal - Validity of - Requirement for

APPEAL - Notice of appeal - Where filed by a corporate entity without any name of the signatory - Competence of - Whether the use of Tayo Jegede & Co. in the instant case, renders the notice of appeal defective

APPEAL - Preliminary objection - Notice of - Whether mandatory to separately file and serve  on the respondent


PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Filing fees - Assessment of - Who owes the responsibility for

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Filing fees - Non-payment of adequate filing fees - Effect of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Filing of documents -When can be said to be done in law - When a document is deemed to have been properly filed in court

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Proceedings before Court of Appeal -  How parties may appear therein

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Rules of court in relation to notice of appeal - Non-compliance with - Attitude of court to WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Appellant’ - Meaning of

Issues:

1.              Whether the notice and grounds of appeal as filed by the appellant is in accordance with the provisions of Order 1, rule 5  read together with paragraph 5 of Schedule 3 and Order 3, rule 28(1) of the Court of Appeal Rules, 1981 as amended.

2.              Whether the notice and grounds of appeal as filed by an ‘appellant’ is within the meaning of sections 13 and 31 of the Court of Appeal Act, Cap. 75 Laws of the Federation of

Nigeria, 1990 and Order 1, rule 2 of the Court of Appeal Rules, 1981  as amended.

3.              Whether the Court of Appeal lacks jurisdiction to entertain any matter in which the requisite fees have not been paid as in this case where the notice and grounds of appeal has not been paid for.

Facts:

The 1st respondent sued the appellant at the Adamawa State High Court sitting in Yola, claiming against the appellant for ownership and possession of a piece of land situate at Donga Close in Upper Luggere Ward of Jimeta town of Yola Local Government, he equally claimed damages and injunctions.

The 1st respondent contended that he acquired the right of ownership of the land in dispute on or about 29th October, 1989 when he bought same from one Mai Anguwa Bobbi Halidu at the cost of N4,000.00. That he had exercised right of ownership and possession over the said land by commencing physical development thereof after he was issued with a customary certificate of occupancy No. 003208 by the Yola Local Government. That the appellant later made several reports to the police that he, the 1st respondent, blocked the passage to his house, and consequently, the Urban Planning and Development Authority gave him a stop work notice. Also the Yola Local Government without prior investigation revoked his customary right of occupancy.

The appellant on the other hand, denied the sale of the land in dispute to the 1st respondent and claimed that the said land being in an urban area was vested in the government of Adamawa State and that the Yola Local Government had no right to issue certificate of occupancy over same. He equally denied the loss and damages claimed by the 1st respondent and counter-claimed among other things, for ownership and damages.

At the conclusion of the trial, the trial court gave judgment in favour of the 1st respondent and granted his reliefs in its entirety while the appellant’s counter-claim was dismissed.

Dissatisfied, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal. At the Court of Appeal, the 1st respondent raised a preliminary objection to the competence of the notice and grounds of appeal filed by the appellant.