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LOWE LINTAS LIMITED v. HUDSTRADE NIGERIA LIMITED

(2018) LPELR-43506(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 12th day of January, 2018

CA/L/448M/2012


Before Their Lordships

MOJEED ADEKUNLE OWOADE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

CHIDI NWAOMA UWA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

HAMMA AKAWU BARKA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

LOWE LINTAS LIMITED - Appellant(s)

AND

HUDSTRADE NIGERIA LIMITED - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Civil Procedure.

FACTS:
This is an Appeal against the Decision/Ruling of Hon. Justice O. A. Williams of the High Court of Lagos State delivered at Court No. 30 Ikeja Commercial Division 01/06/2012.

By a writ of summons followed by a statement of claim of 17/08/2010, the Respondent in Paragraph 24 of the said Statement of claim, claimed from the Appellant/Defendant some reliefs. The Writ of Summons, Statement of Claim and other accompanying processes in this suit were served on the Appellant on 23/08/2010. When the time allowed by the Rules of Court to file Defence elapsed, Respondent applied for the issuance of Pre-trial conference Notice which was approved and issued by the High Court.

Hearing Notice was issued and served on the Appellant in the Suit on 02/02/2011 and 18/04/2011. Some Sixteen (16) Months after service of processes on the Appellant, the Respondent brought a Motion on Notice dated 21/02/2012 and filed on 01/03/2012 for Judgment in default of Appearance and Defence. The Motion for Judgment in default of appearance/Defence was served on the Appellant on 1st March, 2012. In addition by a letter of 9th March, 2012, Respondent's Counsel informed the learned Counsel for the Appellant of the date and purpose for which the suit was slated for. However, Mr. Emmankhu Addeh of Counsel to the Defendant Appellant wrote to Court that he would be absent on 13th March, 2012, the adjourned date as he was scheduled for medical check up at the University of Benin, Teaching Hospital Edo State. On 13/03/2012, the learned trial Judge entered default Judgment against the Appellant as per the Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim. Consequent on the above, the Appellant brought a Motion on Notice on 16/03/2012 for an order setting aside the default judgment.

Parties filed and exchanged Written Addresses. In a considered Ruling refused the application. Dissatisfied with the  decision, the Appellant appealed against same. The Respondent filed a preliminary objection challenging the competence of the appeal.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on the Respondent's preliminary objection challenging the competence of the appeal on the ground that the grounds of appeal did not arise from the Judgment appealed against and are thus incompetent.

DECISION/HELD:
On the whole, the Court found merit in the Respondent's preliminary objection and therefore upheld same. The Appellant's appeal was however struck out for incompetence.


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