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VINCENT OBIORA OBIOZO & ANOR v. UAC NIGERIA PLC & ORS

(2018) LPELR-45092(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Wednesday, the 18th day of July, 2018

CA/E/555/2017


Before Their Lordships

OYEBISI FOLAYEMI OMOLEYE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

JAMES SHEHU ABIRIYI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

SAIDU TANKO HUSSAINI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

1. VINCENT OBIORA OBIOZO
2. JONATHAN CHIEDU OBIOZO
(Suing for themselves and as
representing Late King Obi Anazonwu family, Obeoza, Onitsha) - Appellant(s)

AND

1. UAC NIG. PLC
2. UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. PLC.
3. YOUNG SHALL GROW LTD
4. NNABYELUGO J. ONONYE
5. NNAJI OBANYE
(For themselves and on behalf of Mgbekekeke family of Onitsha) - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Civil Procedure.
FACTS:
This appeal revolves around the ruling of the High Court of Anambra State, Onitsha.

???The appellants had commenced an action and claimed against the respondents, several reliefs, by way of the Writ of Summons and the Statement of Claim. The 3rd, 4th and 5th respondents filed a joint Statement of defence and counter-claim, wherein they sought several declaratory and injunctive reliefs. Appellants' Motion for extension of time to file a reply to the Statement of defence and defence to counter-claim was dismissed. The trial High Court further struck out the claim brought by the Appellants for want of diligent prosecution, thus leaving the 3rd, 4th and 5th respondents' Statement of defence and counter-claim to be defended by the appellants.

The 3rd, 4th and 5th respondents, in the bid to prove their counter-claim before the trial Court, called evidence of Pw1 who testified on their behalf having also adopted his earlier statement on Oath as his evidence in chief. The appellants commenced their Cross-examination of Pw1 almost immediately after the close of his evidence in chief on 20th February, 2017. The Cross-examination of Pw1 continued until the 28th July, 2017, when the trial Court put an end to it, saying that the appellants' counsel was merely repeating questions to prolong the cross-examination, and that question takes a minimum of 10 minutes to be put to the witness. Not pleased with the ruling, appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The 3rd -5th respondents raised a Preliminary Objection, urging the Court of Appeal to strike out the appeal for being incompetent, as leave to appeal the interlocutory ruling had not been sought and obtained.

ISSUES:
The issue for determination is: "Whether the Court has jurisdiction to entertain the appeal, the leave of Court having not been first sought and obtained?"

DECISION/HELD:
In conclusion, the preliminary Objection was upheld and the appeal was struck out.


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