LawPavilion Online


Back

ALHAJI MUSA AJIGBOTOSHO v. RENOLDS CONSTRUCTION CO. LTD

(2018) LPELR-44774(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 8th day of June, 2018

SC.133/2010


Before Their Lordships

WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

KUDIRAT MOTONMORI OLATOKUNBO KEKERE-EKUN Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

EJEMBI EKO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

SIDI DAUDA BAGE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

ALHAJI MUSA AJIGBOTOSHO - Appellant(s)

AND

RENOLDS CONSTRUCTION CO. LTD. - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on the Award of Damages.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal Ibadan Division delivered on the 17th April, 2008 in Appeal No. CA/1/15/2007 wherein the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of the Appellant therein.

The facts of the case are that in executing the contract awarded to it by the Federal Government to dualise the Ibadan/Ife Road, the Respondent, a Construction Company, entered into a number of lease Agreements with the Appellant to use his land for "site erection and excavation of materials." Clause 5 in the Agreements dated 10th April 1995, 26th November 1996, 16th May 1997, & 10th June 1997, reads: -

"It is herein agreed that the said parcel of land shall be levelled and made usable by Reynolds after the completion of the Road before handing it over to the said owner. The land owner shall make available a trustworthy watchman and shall be employed by Reynolds within the period of operation."

???On completion of the project, the Appellant approached the Respondent to make good the land as previously agreed and after repeated demands to no avail, he instituted an action at the Ibadan High Court of Oyo State, claiming:
(a) A declaration that the defendant is in breach of the various lease Agreements on land entered with Plaintiff by failing to level and make usable the various parcels of land leased to her for the purposes of road construction by the Plaintiff at Idi-Omo Village, Egbeda Local Government Area, Ibadan particularly, the Agreements dated 10th April, 1995, 10th and 15th May 1995, 23rd January and 26th November 1996, 16th May and 10th June 1997.

(a) DAMAGES


SPECIAL


(1) Cost of repair of damage road - N743,149.20


(2) Amount required to rehabilitate damaged Parcel of land as per the lease Agreements - 3,712,500.00


(3) Cost of claim survey - 25,000.00


GENERAL DAMAGES - 1,000,000.00


5,480,649,20.???

At the end of trial in which the Appellant called seven witnesses and one witness testified for the Respondent, and after hearing addresses of counsel, the learned trial Judge delivered his Judgment on the 18th of July 2005, wherein he granted the declaration as claimed by the Appellant. He awarded the sum of N250,000.00 to him as general damages and N25,000.00 as cost of survey, but he dismissed the claim for special damages. Aggrieved by the decision, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal in its judgment dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of the High Court. Not being satisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal delivered on the 17th April 2008, the Appellant further appealed to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on the sole issue raised by the Respondent and couched as follows:

"Whether in view of the pleadings, evidence adduced and the state of the law, the lower Court was right in upholding the decision of the trial Court thereby dismissing the Appeal."

DECISION/HELD:
On the whole, the Court found no merit in the appeal and accordingly dismissed same.


Read Full Judgment