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NIGERIAN AGIP OIL COMPANY LIMITED v. PETER OGINI & ORS

(2017) LPELR-42663(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Thursday, the 20th day of July, 2017

CA/PH/247/2007


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

TUNDE OYEBANJI AWOTOYE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

NIGERIAN AGIP OIL COMPANY LIMITED - Appellant(s)

AND

1. PETER OGINI
2. OKECHUKWU OKORO
3. HON. DAMIAN EZURU
(For themselves and as representing the elected and accredited representatives of Etekwuru Village, Egbema, Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State)
4. JJ-LYN NIGERIA LIMITED - Respondent(s)


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on the Jurisdiction of the Federal High Court as regards mines and minerals.

FACTS:
This is the judgment in respect of the appeal filed by the appellant on 17/12/2006 to challenge the decision of Imo State High Court, Oru Judicial Division.

The claim of the plaintiffs at the Lower Court as per paragraph 14 of their Amended Statement of Claim reads thus:
WHEREFORE the plaintiffs claim against the defendant the sum of two hundred and fifty million Naira (250,000,000.00) as fair, reasonable and adequate compensation and/or damages due and payable to the plaintiffs by the defendant for damages, deprivation and/or injuries to the plaintiffs' rights in respect of their (plaintiffs) piece or parcel of land which situate and lying at Etekwuru Egbema in the Ohaji/Egbemi Local Government Area of Imo State of Nigeria resulting in loss of income from farming, palm produce, lumbering, animal husbandry, fishing and hunting etc.
PARTICULARS OF DAMAGES
a. N10,630,000.00 being compensation for loss of surface right or use of the land described in paragraph 3(a) above measuring 10.63 hectares at N1,000,000.00 per hectare for a term of 20 years which expired in 4th day of June, 1993
b. N10,000,000.00 being compensation for loss of surface right or use of the land described in Paragraph 3(a) above measuring 10.63 hectares at N1,000,000.00 per hectare for a term of 20 years which commenced on 5th day of June, 1993.
OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE
a. The sum of N23,386,000.00 being payment for outright acquisition of the land described in Paragraph 3 above
b. N228,740,000.00 being special and general damages for inconveniences, hardship, loss of means of livelihood, deprivation etc. from the plaintiffs' lands adjoining the strip of land described in Paragraph 3(a) above.

The defendants joined issues with the plaintiffs by its further Amended Statement of Defence filed on 21/5/2006.

The trial Court subsequently heard the parties and later gave judgment in favour of the Plaintiffs. Miffed by the judgment of the trial Court this appealed was filed.





ISSUES:
The appeal was determined on the following Respondent's issue:

i) Whether the trial Court has jurisdiction to hear and determine the respondents' claim
ii) Whether having regard to the claim and circumstances of the case, the respondents' suit was properly constituted
iii) Whether from the state of pleadings and evidence, the trial Court was right in giving judgment in favour of the respondents.


DECISION/HELD:
The appeal was allowed, the decision of the trial Court was set aside and the plaintiff's claim was struck out for want of jurisdiction.


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