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JIMOH OKEYALE & ORS v. MR. BASHIRU OGUNTOWO

(2018) LPELR-45765(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Thursday, the 18th day of October, 2018

CA/IB/121/2013


Before Their Lordships

JIMI OLUKAYODE BADA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

HARUNA SIMON TSAMMANI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

FOLASHADE OJO Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

1. JIMOH OKEYALE
2. MR. JIMOH EGBEYALE
3. MR. ASHIRU OSENI
4. MR. SABAINA OKEDIRAN MOREKE
5. MR. AKANBI EGBELETI
6. MR. AKANBI - Appellant(s)

AND

MR. BASHIRU OGUNTOWO - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Civil Procedure.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the Ruling of the Oyo State High Court, sitting at Eruwa delivered by O. I. Aiki, J., on the 6th day of February, 2012 in Suit No: HER/MISC5/2006. Before the Grade "C" Customary Court, Oja-Oba, Igboora, one Adebisi Olojede (now deceased), had instituted a civil claim for trespass to land against Mr. Kareem Ige and Basiru Oguntowo (Respondents in this Appeal). The Trial Customary Court, upon hearing the matter found in favour of the Plaintiff therein - Mr. Adebisi Olojede. Being dissatisfied with the decision of the trial Customary Court, the duo of Kareem Ige and Basiru Oguntowo approached the Oyo State High Court in the Ibarapa Judicial Division, seeking inter alia, an order removing into the High Court for the purpose of being quashed the judgment of the said Grade "C" Customary Court, Igboora. The Trial High Court, upon hearing the parties quashed the proceedings and the judgment based on the civil summons No. 39/44/2006 and No. 44/2006.

On the 10th day of January, 2008, the Respondent applied to the Registry of the Oyo State High Court for the issuance of Forms 48 and 49 against Adebisi Olojede (deceased) and the Appellants on record for being in disobedience of the Court Order contained in the Ruling of Oyo State High Court quashing the decision of the Grade "C" Customary Court, Oke-Odo, Igboora. The Respondent then filed separate Motions on Notice all dated and filed on the 18/1/2008, seeking that the Appellants be committed to prison for the contempt or disobedience of the order(s) of the Oyo State High Court. Each of the Appellants then filed a separate Motion challenging the competence of the committal application. Further Affidavits were filed by the Appellants in response to the Counter-Affidavits of the Respondent. The various applications in opposition to the Motions for committal were consolidated by leave of counsel. 

Respective counsel filed and exchanged Written Addresses and in a considered Ruling delivered on the 06/2/2012, the learned trial Judge dismissed the Appellants' Motions/Objections and assumed jurisdiction to entertain the applications to commit the Appellants for contempt. Being aggrieved, the Appellants appealed to the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on this issue couched as follows:

"Whether the Learned Trial Judge was not in error and acted without jurisdiction, when he assumed jurisdiction to try Appellants for contempt of order that is a nullity, having been predicated on Originating Process for certiorari which was not in accordance with due process, not having been signed by legal practitioner in accordance with provisions of Sections 2(1) and 24 of the Legal Practitioners' Act, Cap. L11, 2004 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria."

DECISION/HELD:
On the whole, the Court found merit in the appeal and accordingly allowed same. Consequently, the Ruling of the Oyo State High Court delivered on the 6th day of February, 2013 assuming jurisdiction to entertain the contempt proceedings against the Appellants was set aside.


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