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Regd. Trustees, C.A.C. v. Sadiku

1.      THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF THE

CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF NIGERIA

2.      ELDER OLUWADARE DADA

V

1.      ALHAJI SADIKU

2.      OBA OLADIMEJI (JOINED BY THE COURT)

COURT OF APPEAL

( ILORIN DIVISION )

MURITALA AREMU OKUNOLA, JCA ( Presided )

PATRICK IBE AMAIZU, JCA

W. SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN, JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment ) 

CA/IL/12/2001

THURSDAY, 12TH JULY, 2001

APPEAL - Evaluation of evidence by trial court - When it will be interfered with by appellate court

DOCUMENTS - Affidavit - Documents attached thereto as exhibits - Nature of

EVIDENCE - Affidavit - Conflicting depositions in affidavit - How to resolve -  Need to call oral evidence

EVIDENCE - Affidavit - Documents attached thereto as exhibits - Nature of

LAND LAW - Declaration of title to land - Owner who had divested self of title - Whether a necessary party or witness in a suit affecting the land

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Intervener in a suit - Who is - When intervener’s application for joinder will be granted

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Joinder of parties -  Factors which determine joinder - Consideration of - Governing principles

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Joinder of parties - Need to join necessary parties to the suit - Rationale therefor

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Joinder of parties - Person who has divested himself of title to his own land through sale - Whether a necessary party or witness in a suit affecting the land

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Joinder of parties - Power of court suo motu to take initiative to ensure that a necessary party is joined to the suit

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Joinder of parties - Purpose of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Joinder of parties - Responsibility of parties to initiate proceedings for joinder of necessary parties

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Necessary party - Necessary witness Distinction between

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Proper parties in a suit - How determined

-  Relevant consideration

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Intervener’ in a suit - Who is

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Necessary witness’  ‘Necessary party’ -

Distinction between

Issues:

1.            Whether or not the intervener had any interest in the land in dispute to necessitate his being joined in the suit.

2.            Whether or not the lower court evaluated at all, or properly evaluated, the affidavit evidence before giving its order.

Facts:

The plaintiffs/appellants took out a writ of summons against the 1st defendant/respondent for damages for trespass committed and still being committed by the said defendant on plaintiffs’ land and an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from further acts of trespass. The plaintiffs also filed a motion for interlocutory injunction praying the court for an order restraining the 1st defendant from continuing with the construction works he was carrying on on the land in dispute. A year after the 1st defendant had filed his counter-affidavit against the application for injunction, the 1st defendant filed an application seeking to join the 2nd defendant. This application was later withdrawn by the applicant having been advised that the 2nd defendant should apply personally. Consequently, the 2nd respondent brought an application before the trial court seeking to be joined as the 2nd defendant. The plaintiffs opposed the application.

In a considered ruling, the trial Judge discountenanced plaintiffs/ appellants’ argument and granted the joinder.

The appellants were dissatisfied with that ruling and appealed to the Court of Appeal.