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STANDARD CLEANING SERVICES COMPANY v. THE COUNCIL OF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY, ILE-IFE

(2019) LPELR-47050(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Tuesday, the 19th day of March, 2019

CA/AK/110/2014


Before Their Lordships

MOHAMMED AMBI-USI DANJUMA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

RIDWAN MAIWADA ABDULLAHI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

PATRICIA AJUMA MAHMOUD Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

STANDARD CLEANING SERVICES COMPANY - Appellant(s)

AND

THE COUNCIL OF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY, ILE-IFE - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.

FACTS:
This is an appeal against the decision of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, Osun State.

The Plaintiff/appellant, a sanitary cleaning company, was engaged by the Defendant/respondent to clean Zone 5 of the University estate and was issued with a letter containing the terms of the contract. Prior to the award of the contract in November, 2005, the Plaintiff had been cleaning the Defendant's campus, zone 5, for 16 years which made the Defendant to award the Plaintiff one of the largest space to clean among the cleaning companies involved. The Plaintiff and other companies were given a probationary period between December 2005 to February 2006 in which the Plaintiff was commended of a good job. Inspite of the good commendation, the Defendant, through the Vice Chancellor of the University, terminated the said contract and refused to pay the profit margin between December, 2005 to March, 2006.

The Plaintiff/Appellant approached the trial Court and claimed against the Defendant/Respondent as follows:
"a) An order declaring the Defendant's Letter of termination of contract dated 2/3/06 between the Plaintiff and the Defendant's University null and void.
b) N1 Million (One million Naira) damages against the Defendant for breach of the contract.
c) A declaration that the said contract for the cleaning of zone 5 of the Defendant's University is still subsisting and alive.
???d) An order directing the Defendant to pay to the Plaintiff the profit margin and the cost of materials between December 2005 to March 2006 as agreed between the parties in the Award of contract for the cleaning of zone 5 of the University (Defendant) Estate's letter; which is the letter of award of contract that was given by the Defendant to the Plaintiff.

At the conclusion of the trial, the learned trial Judge suo motu raised the issue of jurisdiction and ordered the parties to address the Court. Both parties addressed the Court and in a considered Ruling, the trial Judge declined jurisdiction and ordered the transfer of the suit to the Chief Judge of Osun State for determination pursuant to S. 22 (2) of the Federal High Court Act. Dissatisfied, appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES:
Appellant identified a lone issue for determination, to wit:
"Whether the Federal High Court, Osogbo, Osun State, does not have jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter bordering on the contract between Appellant and Respondent to clean zone 5 of the Respondent's university."

DECISION/HELD:
In the final analysis, the Court of Appeal resolved the singular issue against the Appellant and dismissed the appeal.


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