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ANTHONY OPARA v. MORECAB FINANCE LIMITED & ANOR

(2018) LPELR-43990(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Wednesday, the 28th day of March, 2018

CA/PH/433/2007


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

ITA GEORGE MBABA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

ANTHONY OPARA - Appellant(s)

AND

1. MORECAB FINANCE LTD
2. CHU & CHI LTD - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Right to Fair Hearing.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the judgment delivered on 2/3/2006 by the High Court of Imo State holden at Owerri presided over by Hon. Justice A.O.H. Ukachukwu.

???The case was commenced by the Appellant as plaintiff by a writ of summons filed on 14/2/2002. The claims of the Appellant against the Defendants before the trial Court (now Respondents) are as follows: -
1. A declaration that the plaintiff has not divested himself of his property registered as No. 75 at page 75 in volume 255 of the Lands Registry at Owerri.
2. Perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants from interfering in any manner with the plaintiff's ownership and possession of the said property.
3. An order directing the Defendants to return to the plaintiff all the original copies of his title deeds to the property. 
4. The sum of Two Million as compensation for the damages sustained by the Plaintiff as a result of the Defendants' acts.
5. Costs of this action.

At the conclusison of trial, the learned trial Judge found that the plaintiff's case lacked merit and it was dismissed.

Being dissatisfied with the judgment of the trial Court, the Appellant filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal based on the following issues for determination:
1. Whether in the circumstances of this case, the Appellant was granted a fair hearing before his case against the Defendants was dismissed.
2. Whether the Learned Trial Judge did not descend into the arena of conflict by taking over the conduct of the case of the defence and abandoning the judicial role of a judge as an arbiter, thereby denying the Appellant a fair hearing in the case before him.

DECISION/HELD:
In the final analysis, the Court of Appeal ???held that the appeal was meritorious and it succeeded. The appeal was 
allowed and the proceedings in the case and judgment delivered on 2/3/2006 by the trial Court were set aside. The case was remitted to the Chief Judge of Imo State for re-assignment to another Judge of the High Court of Imo State for trial. 


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