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OJUKWU IMO KALU & ORS v. HRH EZE AGWU NWANKWO KALU & ORS

(2018) LPELR-44264(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 20th day of April, 2018

CA/OW/405/2013


Before Their Lordships

RAPHAEL CHIKWE AGBO Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

AYOBODE OLUJIMI LOKULO-SODIPE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

ITA GEORGE MBABA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

1. OJUKWU IMO KALU
2. ANYA ORJI OKIYI
3. NDUKWE ORJI AGU
4. ISAAC AGWU MBA
5. NDUKWE MBA NDUKWE
6. JOHNSON EKE OJUKWU
7. UKO OKE UDE - Appellant(s)

AND

1. HRH EZE AGWU NWANKWO KALU
2. NWANKWO UDE ONU
3. IGWE ERIEGBU IGWE
4. CHIBUZOR AZU AZU
5. AKPALA AGU OKORO
6. ORJI AGWU ANYA
7. ONUOHA AKPALA ARUNSI
(Suing for themselves and as representing the villages and settlements of Amankwu, Obiche, Utuka, Okai, Ndi Ibe, Okai Ifu and Ochuiyi Ndi Abi respectively all of Agbaja Section of Nkporo Community excluding the 1st -7th Defendants)
8. THE CHAIRMAN OHAFIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCIL
9. THE COMMISSIONER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND CHIEFTAINCY AFFAIRS-ABIA STATE
10. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND COMMISSIONER FOR JUSTICE ABIA STATE
11. THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF ABIA STATE - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Amendment of Court Process.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the Ruling of Hon. Justice Amanze Chikwendu Chioma in a substantive suit pending at the Abia State High Court.

Appellants were the 1st to 7th Defendants in HOH/12/2012, a Suit filed by the Claimants (1st to 7th Respondents), seeking some declarations and injunctive reliefs relating to chieftaincy, namely, the withdrawal or purported withdrawal of the certificate of recognition and staff of office of the 1st Claimant, and the alleged presentation of the 3rd Defendant to 8th Defendant for forwarding to the 9th and 11th Defendants for recognition as traditional ruler of Agbajah Nkporo Autonomous Community. The Claimants also sought declaration that the 8th, 9th and 11th Defendants cannot exercise the power of creating an autonomous community on any part of Abia State, except as provided for and in compliance with the relevant provisions of the Traditional Rulers and Autonomous Communities Law, Cap 166 Laws of Abia State, 2005.

???After filing the Suit on 29/2/2012, and service on the Defendants, the Claimants filed a Motion on Notice on 3/10/12, seeking some amendment to the writ of summons and statement of Claim, namely, to strike out the names of Chief Agbo Egwu Anya, Mba Asu Okereke, Chief Kalu Agbo Agwu and Kalu Okoro (2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th Claimants) from the Suit, and to replace them with other persons - Nwankwo Ude Onu, Igwe Iroegbu Igwe, Chibuzo Azu and Orji Agwu Anya, respectively.

The application was granted, despite opposition by the Defendants. Dissatisfied, defendants/appellant filed an interlocutory appeal against the Ruling at the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES:
The single issue for determination in the appeal is:
"Whether the learned trial Judge was right when he granted the Respondents (then Claimants/Appellants) prayers to amend their process in the Suit by substituting some of the Claimants in the Suit."

DECISION/HELD:
In the final analysis, the appeal was dismissed.



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