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ZANEN VERSTOEP & COMPANY NIGERIA LIMITED v. FOUR STAR INDUSTRIES LIMITED

(2016) LPELR-41258(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 4th day of November, 2016

CA/L/988/2011


Before Their Lordships

SIDI DAUDA BAGE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

BIOBELE ABRAHAM GEORGEWILL Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

UGOCHUKWU ANTHONY OGAKWU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

ZANEN VERSTOEP & CO. NIGERIA LIMITED - Appellant(s)

AND

FOUR STAR INDUSTRIES LIMITED - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:

FACTS:
This litigation is in respect of a piece of land situate at No. 1 Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Victoria Island, Lagos. The Respondent was the Claimant in the action instituted at the High Court of Lagos State in Suit No. M/543/2003: FOUR STAR INDUSTRIES LTD vs. ZANEN VERSTOEP & COMPANY NIG. LTD. The reliefs claimed by the Respondent in paragraph 21 of the Amended Statement of Claim filed on 18th June 2009 on the basis of which the action was prosecuted are:
%u201C(a) A Declaration that the Claimant is the bona fide holder of the Statutory Right of Occupancy in and over the piece of land situate at No. 1 Ozumba Mbadiwe Road Victoria Island Lagos by virtue of the certificate of Occupancy registered as No. 13 at page 13 at page 13 in Volume 1989B dated 28/2/1989 at the Lands Registry, Alausa, Lagos granted by the Lagos State Government and No. 77 at page 77 in Volume 26 at the Federal Lands and registry office dated 22nd November, 1996 and granted by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
(b) Possession of the piece of land situate at No. 1, Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos and

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covered by the Lagos State Certificate of Occupancy Registered as No. 13 in volume 1989B dated 28/2/89 at the Lagos States Lands Registry, Alausa, Lagos and Federal Government Certificate of Occupancy registered as No. 77 at page 77 in volume 26 at the Federal Lands Registry office dated 22/11/1996.
(c) The sum of N10, 000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira Only) for special damages being the amount expended by the Claimant for the purpose of constructing the 4 nos. 3 Bedroom flats which was pulled down and destroyed by the agents or thugs of the Defendants.
(d) Perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants either by themselves, agents, servant, privies or anybody whatsoever from trespassing or further trespassing on the Claimant%u2019s landed property situate at No. 1 Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Victoria Island, Lagos.
(e) The sum of N5, 000, 000. 00(Five Million Naira only) being general damages for continuous trespass, inconvenience, economic loss resulting from the destruction of the Claimant%u2019s properties.%u201D
(See pages 461-462 of the Records)

%u200BThe Appellant herein who was the Defendant at the Lower Court counterclaimed and claimed for


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the following reliefs:
%u201C(a) A Declaration that the Certificate of Occupancy registered as number 13 in volume 1989B dated 28th February, 1989 over the land situate at Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria Island, in favour of the defendant to the counter claim is null, void and of no effect whatsoever as a result of the doctrine of lis pendens by virtue of the alienation of the said land by the Grantor, being the Lagos State Government during the pendency of Suit No. LD/2371/88 between the 2nd Defendant and the Lagos State Government.
(b) A Declaration that the certificate of occupancy registered as number 77 at page 77 in volume 26 at the Federal Lands Registry Office, Lagos, over the land situate at Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, is null, void and of no effect whatsoever by virtue of the fact that the said land did not belong to the Federal Government.%u201D
(See page 513 of the Records)

%u200BAfter an inter partes hearing at which documentary and testimonial evidence was adduced, the Lower Court, Coram: Ipaye, J., in its judgment delivered on 1st June 2011 entered judgment in favour of the Respondent and dismissed the


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Appellant%u2019s counterclaim. The said judgment is at pages 648-676 of the Records. The Appellant being dissatisfied appealed against the judgment on 9th June 2011. The Notice of Appeal is at pages 677-693 of the Records.
ISSUES:

DECISION/HELD:


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