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SURU WORLDWIDE VENTURES NIGERIA LIMITED v. ASSET MANAGEMENT CORPORATION OF NIGERIA & ORS

(2019) LPELR-47958(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Tuesday, the 2nd day of July, 2019

CA/L/88/2018


Before Their Lordships

MOHAMMED LAWAL GARBA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

UGOCHUKWU ANTHONY OGAKWU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

GABRIEL OMONIYI KOLAWOLE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

SURU WORLDWIDE VENTURES NIGERIA LTD - Appellant(s)

AND

1. ASSET MANAGEMENT CORPORATION OF NIGERIA
2. INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE
3. COMMANDANT-GENERAL OF THE CORPS NIGERIA SECURITY AND CIVIL DEFENCE CORPS
4. LAGOS STATE COMMANDANT OF THE CORPS, NIGERIA SECURITY AND CIVIL DEFENCE CORPS - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Civil Procedure.

FACTS:
This appeal is against the judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division in SUIT NO. FHC/L/CS/1059/2016 delivered on 30th May.

The Appellant and the 1st Respondent have been engaged in series of cases in respect of the facilities granted to the Appellant by Oceanic Bank (succeeded by Ecobank) and which outstanding debt was acquired by the 1st Respondent.

The 1st Respondent subsequently filed an action at the trial Court which was commenced by Originating Motion seeking for the following reliefs:
"1. AN ORDER directing the Defendants, jointly and severally, whether personally and/or through officers and men under their command and control, to assist the Plaintiff, its offers, agents and representatives howsoever described, in exercising its rights as a Legal mortgagee under the Deeds of Legal Mortgage registered as 32/32/2033, 88/88/2032 and 89/89/2028, respectively.
2. AN ORDER directing the Defendants, jointly and severally, whether personally and/or through officers and men under their command and control, to assist the Plaintiff, whether acting its officers, agents and representatives howsoever described in maintaining peace, order and for the protection of its exclusive possessory rights and powers over the properties located at No. 86, Opebi Road, Ikeja, Lagos State, No. 12, Reverend Ogunbiyi Street, G.R.A, Ikeja, Lagos State and N0. 12, Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos State pursuant to and in furtherance of the exercise and/or discharge of its powers, functions and duties as the Legal Mortgagee of the said properties."

In its judgment which was delivered on 30th May, 2017, the trial Court conclusively held in favour of the 1st Respondent and granted reliefs as claimed.

The Appellant herein was not made a party in the action at the trial Court. It has therefore appealed to the Court of Appeal as a party interested.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal based on a sole issue thus:
"Whether the lower Court rightly heard and determined the suit without the Appellant being made a party in order to afford it a hearing."

DECISION/HELD:
In the final analysis, the Court of Appeal held that the appeal was meritorious and it succeeded. The decision of the trial Court was set aside and the case was remitted to the trial Court for hearing de novo with the Appellant as a party.


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