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Yakubu v. Jauroyel

ALHAJI ISIYAKU YAKUBU

V

ALHAJI USMAN JAUROYEL & 2 ORS

COURT OF APPEAL

( JOS DIVISION )

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

OLUDADE OLADAPO OBADINA JCA

IKECHI FRANCIS OGBUAGU JCA ( Dissented )

CA/K/163/99

THURSDAY, 27TH JANUARY, 2005 

ACTION - Non-suit - Grant of - Where appropriate

EVIDENCE - Admissibility of evidence - Need for evidence to be consistent and credible

EVIDENCE -  Standard of proof in civil proceedings - Need for proof on preponderance of evidence and balance of probabilities

LAND LAW - Declaration of title to land - Grant of - Duty on plaintiff to ascertain area claimed - Failure to - Effect

LAND LAW - Declaration of title to land - Burden on plaintiff therein Need for plaintiff to succeed on strength of own case

LAND LAW - Declaration of title to land - Grant of when surveys and plans do not exist - When court will make

LAND LAW - Declaration of title to land - Mere production of certificate of occupancy - Insufficiency of as proof of title - Factors court will consider to determine its sufficiency or otherwise to found

title

LAND LAW - Declaration of title to land - Court granting over a smaller area of land than one claimed - Possibility of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Plaintiff - Need for to succeed on the strength of his own case

Issues:

1.              Whether the evidence of PW1 and PW2 can truly be described as conflicting in law.

2.              Whether the evidence of both official witnesses (PW2 and DW2) do not support/establish the plaintiff’s case rather than destroying it.

3.              Whether the trial court’s finding of  “faked, false or counterfeit” with regards to exhibit ‘1’ can be sustained in law.

4.              Whether the plaintiff did not adequately discharge the onus on him so as to have judgment in his favour.

Facts:

The plaintiff now appellant sued the respondents in the court below and prayed the court for a declaration that he is the title owner of a parcel of land of 6,149 square metres covered by a certificate of occupancy, and a perpetual injunction to restrain the defendants and their agents from tampering with his proof of ownership over the said land. The plaintiff had approached the 2nd and 3rd defendants in 1982 for land to be allocated to him. The land was allocated and he was issued with a certificate of occupancy. The 2nd and 3rd defendants admitted that the plaintiff was indeed allocated the land but that the certificate of occupancy held by the plaintiff was approved provisionally and when they discovered the irregularities in the issuance of the document, they sought to withdraw it. According to them, the land in dispute was allocated to the 1st defendant. After evaluating the evidence of the parties, the trial Judge refused the claims of the plaintiff.

Aggrieved, the plaintiff appealed to the Court of Appeal.