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ALHAJA SILIFATU AKINLADE & ORS v. CHIEF FATAI BOLAJI OSENI

(2017) LPELR-42981(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Thursday, the 14th day of September, 2017

CA/L/353/2012


Before Their Lordships

HUSSEIN MUKHTAR Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

MUHAMMED LAWAL SHUAIBU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

FREDERICK OZIAKPONO OHO Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

1. ALHAJA SILIFATU AKINLADE
2. SIRIKATU AKINLADE
3. ALHAJI RAFIU AKINLADE - Appellant(s)

AND

CHIEF FATAI BOLAJI OSENI - Respondent(s)


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Declaration of Title to Land

FACTS:
This appeal is against the judgment of the Lagos State High Court.

The Plaintiff who is now the Respondent commenced an action against the Appellants who were Defendants at the Lagos State High Court of Justice, sitting at the Lagos Judicial Division, claiming declaration of title, damages and injunction in respect of the property situate between Nos. 100 and 104, Clegg Street, Surulere, Lagos.

In response, the Defendants filed a statement of defence and counter-claimed for declaration of title, damages for trespass and injunction. The case of the Respondent was that he bought the parcel of land in dispute from one Lasisi Salami Afisi who had a registered power of attorney on behalf of the Salami Afisi family in 1977 by virtue of a deed of conveyance and that he took immediate possession of the property at the time.

The Appellants however, based their claim on a purchase by their father M.S. Akinlade in 1927 from Kasumu Adesokan and Mustapha Afisi the administrators of the Estate of Salami Afisi. In the course of trial, Appellants failed to tender any purchase receipt and/or any letters of Administration. Appellants merely tendered a Survey Plan.

At the conclusion of trial, the learned trial Judge delivered a considered judgment in favour of the Respondent as Plaintiff.
The Appellants' Counter claim was also dismissed.

The Appellants, dissatisfied with the judgment of the trial Court filed this appeal.

ISSUES:
The appeal was decided on the Appellant's issues viz:
1. Whether the learned trial judge was not wrong when he admitted Exhibit C, an unregistered registrable instrument and his decision that that document (Exhibit C) automatically entitled the Respondent to declaration of ownership and passed a valid title of the land in dispute on him (Respondent). (Grounds 1, 2 and 3)
2. Whether the learned trial judge's findings that both Appellants and Respondent did not claim to derive title from a common grantor is not perverse. (Ground 4)
3. Whether the learned trial judge was not wrong when he failed to consider that Appellants have, at the least, an equitable interest in the property which a latter conveyance could not override, and that this failure did not occasion miscarriage of justice. (Grounds 5 and 9).
4. Whether the issue of part-performances used by the trial judge to dismiss the appellants' case was an issue for determination before the Court (Ground 6.)
5. Whether the special and general damages awarded by the trial judge were in accordance with the law (Grounds 7 and 8.)

DECISION/HELD:
The appeal was dismissed for grossly lacking in merit. The judgment of the trial Court was affirmed.


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