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NIGER STATE GOVERNMENT & ORS v. MALLAM GARBA MAGAJI & ORS

(2017) LPELR-43291(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Tuesday, the 7th day of November, 2017

CA/A/33/2014


Before Their Lordships

ABUBAKAR DATTI YAHAYA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

PETER OLABISI IGE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

TANI YUSUF HASSAN Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

1. NIGER STATE GOVERNMENT
2. HON. ATTORNEY-GENERAL & COMMISSIONER OF JUSTICE NIGER STATE.
3. HON. COMMISSIONER, MINISTRY OF LANDS, SURVEY & TOWN PLANNING, NIGER STATE. - Appellant(s)

AND

1. MALLAM GARBA MAGAJI
2. ADAMU YERIMAN
3. AUDU S. MAGAJI
4. AUDU INDA MAGAJI
5. YAKUBU MAGAJI
6. YUSUF MAGAJI
7. KABIRU MAGAJI
8. ALIYU ABDULLAHI MAGAJI
9. AHMED MAGAJI
10. SHEHU MAGAJI
11. ISAH MAGAJI
12. HARUNA MAGAJI
13. DAUDA MAGAJI
14. IBRAHIM MAGAJI
15. YAHUZA MAGAJI
16. BAWA MAGAJI
17. SAIDU MAGAJI
18. ALI MAGAJI
19. ADAMU SANDA MAGAJI
20. YAKUBU DAUDA MAGAJI
21. ABDULAZEEZ MAGAJI
22. SANI MAGAJI
23. DAMISU MAGAJI - Respondent(s)


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Civil Procedure.

FACTS:
This is an appeal against the decision of the High Court of Niger State.

The respondents as a family, own a piece of land at Kpanayi Village, Paiko, Niger State, which was compulsorily acquired by the Niger State Government, through the Ministry of Land, Survey and Town Planning, for the purpose of constructing a National Youth Service Permanent Camp. They alleged that only one member of the family was paid N95,000 only, and that this was not adequate, and could not represent payment for the entire land, as the other owners were left high and dry. They made representations, but the 3rd appellant refused, failed and neglected to order for a re-assessment in order to compensate adequately, all the owners of the land. They therefore, filed the Suit before the High Court at Minna.

After the trial, the Court held that the respondents' case had failed as they had not proved their case on the balance of probability. It also held that the Suit was incompetent since the proper place is the Land Use and Allocation Committee. It then referred the matter to the said Committee.

Dissatisfied, the appellants appealed to the Court of Appeal.


ISSUES:
The Court adopted the following issues for the determination of the appeal:

1. What was the proper Order for the Court to have made when it found out that the plaintiffs did not prove their case as required by law?
2. Whether the Court was right to have made an Order against a person who was not a party to the Suit when the Order was not part of the prayers of the plaintiffs before it?
DECISION/HELD:
The Court of Appeal in a unanimous decision allowed the appeal.


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