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(2018) LPELR-43989(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Wednesday, the 28th day of March, 2018


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


METROPOLITAN ESTATES (By their Attorney MR. BENSON UGWU) - Appellant(s)



Other Citations

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This appeal borders on an Action for Money Had and Received. 
The appeal is against the judgment delivered on 30/7/1997 by the High Court of Abia State presided over by I.F. Ogbuagu J. (as he then was).
The Appellant as Plaintiff commenced the instant action by a writ of summons in which he claimed therein as follows: -
"The Plaintiff's claim against the defendant is for the sum of ??282,991.27 (British Pound Sterling) or its equivalent N565,982.54 (Nigerian Currency) being money payable by the defendant to the plaintiff for money had and received by the defendant for the use of the plaintiff, and also interest at the rate of 11% (eleven per centum) from the 1st day of January, 1983.

The Plaintiff between 1982 and 1983 consigned several goods to their customer in Nigeria with instruction that the value of the goods should be paid to the defendant for onward transmission to the plaintiff which value of goods was indeed paid to the defendant which acknowledged same and notified the plaintiff but negligently failed to pay same over to the plaintiff and in 1989 wrote to the plaintiff to the effect that the said sum would not be paid in the near future or at all."

The Appellant duly filed a statement of claim in the action and the Respondent equally filed a statement of defence which it later formally amended after the Appellant had filed a reply to the said statement of defence. The Appellant having pleaded the facts he considered relevant in respect of his case, claimed in paragraph 21 of the statement of claim thus: -
"By the premises aforesaid, the plaintiffs are damnified and claim against the defendant as follows: -
"(a) The sum of ??282,991.27 (Two hundred and eighty-two thousand nine hundred and ninety-one pounds, twenty-seven pence) (British Pound Sterling) or its Naira equivalent at the current rate being money had and received by the defendant for the use of the plaintiffs.
(b) Interest at the rate of 14% (fourteen percentum) from the 1st day of January, 1983."

It is disclosed on the record that Appellant amended the amount claimed in the case to read ??331,288.48 (Three hundred and thirty one thousand two hundred and eighty eight pounds and forty eight).
At the trial, the Appellant adduced evidence through a lone witness. Likewise, the Respondent called a witness in aid of the case it set up in its amended statement of defence. Having had the benefit of written addresses of the parties and after evaluating the evidence adduced by them, the lower Court dismissed the Appellant's suit hence this appeal.

The appeal was determined on the following issues:

1. Whether the Appellants' case was based on agency or negligence.
2. Whether the Appellants were entitled to judgment and if so to what sum.
3. Whether the judgment shall be in British Pounds Sterling or Naira and at what rate.
4. Whether the Appellants in the circumstance was entitled to pre-judgment interest and interest on the judgment debt.

On the whole, the appeal was unanimously dismissed for lack of merit.

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