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Regd. Trustees, M.T.U.N. v. Tabansi

THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF

MOTORCYCLE TRANSPORT UNION OF NIGERIA

KEVIN NKANNEBE

EMEKA EZE

PAUL NWAGBO

VITUS ALUSIGWE

V

PETER TABANSI

CHUKWUMA ASOLO

LUKE OBIDI

INNOCENT ELEKWACHI

CHARLES NNAMANI

PRINCE LONGINUS ARINZE

COURT OF APPEAL

( ENUGU DIVISION )

E. C. UBAEZONU, JCA (Presided and Read the Lead Ruling)

S. A. OLAGUNJU, JCA

M.D. MUHAMMAD, JCA

CA/E/59m/97

TUESDAY, 2ND MAY, 2000

COURT - Discretion of court - Attitude of appellate court to wrongly exercised discretion

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Order of court not incidental to or consequential from the substantive relief - Effect of

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Relief not claimed - Duty of court not to grant

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS -  Injunctive order - Order stopping business activity of litigant - Attitude of Court of Appeal thereto

[2001]  F.W.L.R.                     Regd. Trustees, M.T.U.N.  vs. Tabansi                                                103

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE  - Exercise of discretion - Where wrongly exercised - Attitude of appellate court thereto

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE  - Injunctive order - Order stopping business activity of litigant - Attitude of Court of Appeal thereto

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE  - Interlocutory injunction - Need for Order made thereunder to be connected with the prayers sought by the applicant -  Where not so connected - Attitude of appellate court thereto

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Stay of execution - Grant of - Need for special circumstances to exist

Issues:

1.            Whether there exists a special circumstance for which the application of the applicants for stay of execution of the orders of interlocutory injunction made by the lower court could be granted.

2.            Having regard to the claims or reliefs sought in the substantive suit, whether the order of interlocutory injunction made by the lower court proceeded from the injunction claimed.

Facts:

By a motion dated 8/7/99 and filed in the Court of Appeal on 9/7/99, the applicants prayed for the following order inter alia:

(1) An order suspending the execution of the order of interlocutory injunction of the High Court of Onitsha dated 27/2/96 made by Honourable Justice Nwofor restraining the defendants from operating under the name of Nigerian Motorcycle Owners, Transporters and Riders Welfare Association until the determination of the appeal filed in this case.

At the trial court, the respondent on the plaintiffs claimed as follows: “An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their agents and privies from recruiting the 1st plaintiff’s members into their Motorcycle Owners, Transporters and Riders Welfare Association of Nigeria and/or collecting taxes from 1st plaintiff’s members.”

Consequently, the trial court made the following order of interlocutory injunction:

“It is hereby ordered that the defendants by themselves, their servants, agents and privies be and are hereby restrained from carrying on any activities under the Motorcycle Owners Transporters and Riders Welfare Association until the determination of the substantive suit.”

From the affidavit evidence before the court, it was revealed that as a result of the interlocutory injunction order made, the respondents had formed the impression that the applicants were not allowed to operate at all even in their private capacities. It was also revealed that the police were vigorously enforcing this directive to the detriment of the defendants.

In determining the application, the Court of Appeal considered the impropriety or otherwise of a court granting a relief not claimed by a claimant to him as well as circumstance(s) upon which an order of stay of execution could be made.