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  • 2007-12-24
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Rebold Industries Ltd v. Ladipo

REBOLD INDUSTRIES LIMITED

V

MAGREOLA LADIPO

( Practising under the name and style of Oladipo Magreola & Co. )

COURT OF APPEAL

( LAGOS DIVISION )

DALHATU ADAMU OFR, JCA ( Presided )

MONICA B. DONGBAN-MENSEM JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

PAUL ADAMU GALINJE JCA

CA/L/258/2000

THURSDAY, 17TH MAY, 2007

CONTRACT - Enforcement of contract - Person not a party to a contract -  When can enforce same

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Judgments - Concurring judgments Usefulness and status of

JUDICIAL PRECEDENT - Stare decisis - Concurring judgments of court - Whether constitutes obiter dictum

LOCUS STANDI  - Meaning of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Locus standi - Meaning of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Summary judgment - Party seeking to set aside - What must show

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Summary judgment procedure - Claim thereunder - When made in compliance with rules of court Attitude of court thereto

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Locus standi’ - Meaning of

Issues:

1.              Whether the trial court was right in deciding that the respondent had the locus standi to sue in respect of an agreement between Mandilas Group Limited and the appellant to which the respondent was not a party.

2.              Whether it was right for the trial court, having regard to the time honoured doctrine of stare decisis, to have placed heavy reliance on the decision of the Court of Appeal in Shuwa v. Chad Basin Development Authority (1991) 7 NWLR (Pt. 205) 550  in the light of the decision of the Supreme Court in Ikpeazu v. African Continental Bank Ltd (1965) 1 NMLR 374.

3.              Whether the appellant was required to file a statement of defence before raising the issue of jurisdiction.

Facts:

The services of the respondent, a firm of solicitors, was retained in 1995  by the Mandilas Group Limited for the preparation and engrossment of a deed of sublease between Mandilas Group Limited and Rebold Industries Limited in respect of a property situate at 7A, Creek Road, Apapa, Lagos.

A term of the agreement was that the appellant would be responsible for the legal fees incurred in preparing the deed of sublease. Upon the appellant failing to make good the said terms of the agreement, the respondent instituted an action against it for the recovery of its legal fees incurred in the preparation and engrossment of the deed.

The appellant failed to respond to the respondent’s summons, thus a default judgment was entered for the respondent on 19th June, 1998. Thereafter, the appellant filed a motion before the Lagos State High Court of Justice challenging the jurisdiction of the court on the grounds that the respondent lacked locus standi. The motion was dismissed.

Aggrieved by the ruling of the trial court dismissing its motion, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.