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CHIEF CHRISTOPHER KOWE & ORS v. MR. TELEWA ADEKOKIKI

(2018) LPELR-44165(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Thursday, the 19th day of April, 2018

CA/AK/81/2012


Before Their Lordships

UZO IFEYINWA NDUKWE-ANYANWU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

OBANDE FESTUS OGBUINYA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

RIDWAN MAIWADA ABDULLAHI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

1. CHIEF CHRISTOPHER KOWE
2. OLU OLAWOYE
3. OYEKUOWA BOBOLA
4. AP. KOWE ELIKANAH
5. MONDAY OGUNMAKINWA
6. OLAWOYE JOSEPH
7. DADA AKINNIYI
8. OGUNTIMEHIM IYAMAJU
9. SOLA OLOWOLE
10. KOWE AKIN
11. AKINSAN ABAYO
12. AKINSAN SHINA
13. ENISAN ETTE
14. OLAWOYE FEMI
15. OLAWOYE NIYI
16. ODOLE DAMI
17. ODOLE SUNDAY
18. ENISAN KOLE
19. IRENITEMI ABAYOMI
20. SUNDAY AYENUWA
21. OLOWOKANGA EMEKA
22. OLOWOKANGA TOBI - Appellant(s)

AND

MR. TELEWA ADEKOKIKI - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Civil Procedure.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the ruling of the Ondo State High Court, delivered by Hon. Justice O. Akintan Osadebay.

The Respondent as Plaintiff instituted an action at the trial Court, claiming against the Appellants as Defendants jointly and severally as follows:

1. A DECLARATION that the assault occasion harm caused to the Plaintiff by the Defendants on 29th December 2009 at Erekiti, Okitipupa Local Government Area, Ondo State in the premises of Chief Matthew Kejawa and at the premises of the 1st Defendant is unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.

2. A DECLARATION that the vandalization of the Plaintiff's residential building situate and being at No. 2, Likinyo Street, Erekiti Community, Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State and destruction of the Plaintiff's household properties, school certificates and other documents by the 7th to 2nd Defendants is unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.

3. A DECLARATION that the 1st to 6th Defendants are also liable for the act or action of the 7th to 22nd Defendants to assault and destroy the properties of the Plaintiff.

4. AN ORDER directing the Defendants to provide all the financial expenses necessary for the Plaintiff to procure the certified true copies or other copies of the Plaintiff destroyed school certificates and other documents.

5. Two Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Six Thousand, Seven Hundred and Twenty Naira (N2,456,720.00) being general and special damages for the destruction caused to the Plaintiff's household properties, residential building and assault occasioning harm caused to the Plaintiff.

6. 1 Million Naira being exemplary damages.

Upon default of the Appellants to enter appearance and file pleadings, the Respondent filed an application to set down the suit for trial and judgment. Before the hearing of the Respondent's application, the Appellants entered conditional appearance and alongside filed an application challenging the jurisdiction of the Court on grounds of non-service of the originating processes on the 2nd - 22nd Appellants. While the Appellants' application for dismissal was still pending, the Respondent by an Exparte motion filed on the 24th February, 2011, successfully obtained the leave of the trial Court to serve the Writ of Summons and all other relevant processes on the Appellants by substituted means through the 1st Appellant. On becoming aware of the Exparte Order granted in favour of the Respondent, the Appellants filed an application dated 20th January, 2012 to set aside the said Order. The application was refused. Dissatisfied, appellants appealed to the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES:
The Appellants submitted the following issues for determination in the appeal:
1. Whether the learned Judge was right in dismissing the Motion on Notice to set aside the Ruling of the lower Court on the ground that the Grounds for setting aside the Ruling do not constitute grounds known to law or that the exparte order is not a nullity or made without jurisdiction.
2. Whether the learned Judge of the lower Court was right in failing to consider and make a decision, one way or the other, on Relief No. 3 on the Motion on Notice to set aside the Ruling of the lower Court.

DECISION/HELD:
In conclusion, the Court of Appeal held that the appeal was devoid of merit and it was therefore dismissed.


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