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INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF VOICE OF THE LAST DAYS MINISTRY & ORS v. MR. ARINZE UDENWA & ORS

(2018) LPELR-45755(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 12th day of October, 2018

CA/OW/434M/2017(R)


Before Their Lordships

THERESA NGOLIKA ORJI-ABADUA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

ITA GEORGE MBABA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

IBRAHIM ALI ANDENYANGTSO Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

1. INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF VOICE OF THE LAST DAYS MINISTRY
2. MR. ALEXANDER ONWUKA
3. MR. JAMES OGBUJI - Appellant(s)

AND

1. MR. ARINZE UDENWA
2. MRS. THERESA UDENWA
3. CELESTINA UZOMA
4. EJEKWU UZOMA
5. ANTHONY UZOMA
6. LOUIS ONWUZURUIGBO
7. NEIGHBOR UZOMA
8. BONIFACE OBIJURU
9. UCHE OBIJURU
10. EMENIKE EKE
11. SILAS ONYEGBULA
12. SUNDAY UZOMA
13. IKECHUKWU UZOMA - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

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Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This is a ruling on an application for extension of time within which to appeal.
FACTS:
Applicants filed a motion on 14/11/2017, seeking the following reliefs:
???(a) An Order extending the time within which the Applicants shall seek leave to appeal against the Order of dismissal/Rulings delivered by the High Court of Imo State sitting at Oguta on the 24th day of September, 2012 and 27th March, 2013 respectively in Suit No. HOG/33/2004.
(b) An Order granting leave to the Applicants to appeal against the Order of dismissal/Rulings of the Lower Court delivered on the 24th day of September, 2012 and 27th March, 2013, respectively, in Suit No. HOG/33/2004.
(c) An Order extending time within which the Applicants will appeal against the (said) Order of dismissal/rulings of the Lower Court...
(d) An Order deeming the Notice and Grounds of Appeal annexed hereto as Exhibit 'C' as duly filed and served the necessary fees of Court having been paid.
And for such further Order(s) as this Honourable Court of Appeal may deem fit to make in the circumstances."

The Application was supported by the following grounds: 
(a) The real issue in controversy between the parties, that is, the title to the land in dispute has not been determined.
(b) Evidence has not been led by any of the parties before the substantive Suit was dismissed by the Court below.
(c) It is the constitutional right of the Applicants to appeal against the dismissal, since they are not satisfied with the order of dismissal.
(d) Being out of time in bringing this application, the Applicants have shown good and substantial reasons why they could not bring the application within time.
(e) It is in the interest of justice to grant this application.

The motion was supported by affidavit of 32 paragraphs, articulating the reasons and grounds for the application, with exhibits, attached, including the proposed Notice and Grounds of the Appeal/Addresses (Exhibit E) and the Rulings appealed against (Exhibits C and D).

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on this sole issue couched as follows:
"Whether the Applicants have made a case that could warrant this Court to grant this application for enlargement of time in their favour."

DECISION/HELD:
On the whole, the Court found merit in the application and accordingly granted same except the prayer (d) which sought a deeming order. Applicants were allowed 21 days extension of time to file their Notice of  Appeal, to appeal against the Rulings of the High Court in HOG/33/2004, delivered on 24/9/2012 and 27/3/2013, respectively, or any of them.


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