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CHIEF AMADI-DIKE-OGU & ORS v. OWHONDA FRANK AMADI & ORS

(2019) LPELR-47847(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 31st day of May, 2019

SC.460/2010(R)


Before Their Lordships

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

KUMAI BAYANG AKA'AHS Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

JOHN INYANG OKORO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

SIDI DAUDA BAGE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

UWANI MUSA ABBA AJI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

1. CHIEF AMADI DIKE-OGU
2. CHIEF HARRISON CHUKWU
3. CHIEF EJEKWU WOBO
(For themselves and on behalf of all the other members of the Rumueme Council of Chiefs and other Indigenes of Rumueme Community) - Appellant(s)

AND

OWHONDA FRANK AMADI & 11 OTHERS
(For themselves and on behalf of all the members of the Rumueme Council of Chiefs, Elders and Owhor Holders) - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This is a ruling on an application for leave to adduce fresh/further evidence on appeal.
FACTS:
By a Motion on Notice dated May 21, 2018 brought pursuant to Order 2 Rule 12 (1) of the Supreme Court Rules (as Amended in 1999) and under the inherent Jurisdiction of this Court, the Appellants/Applicants approached the Supreme Court seeking the following Orders:

"1) An Order of this Honourable Court granting the Appellants/Applicants leave to adduce further evidence at the hearing of this appeal, to wit: the production of a certified true copy of the 1928-1931 Intelligence Report on the Obia Clan, Ikwerre Tribe, Ahoada Division by the Southern Provinces of British Colonial Government, CTC of which was obtained from the Nigerian National Archives.

2) An Order of this Honourable Court deeming the said 1928-1931 Intelligence Report on the Obia Ikwerre Tribe, Ahoada Division by the Southern Provinces of British Colonial Government duly certified by the Nigerian National Archives and attached herewith as EXHIBIT A, as properly received in evidence.

3) And for such further or other Order(s) this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances."

The Appellants/Applicants premised their application on 8 grounds, as follows:

"1) That both Appellants and Respondents are in agreement that the EBERA or OROEBARA Group (otherwise known as ORAZI or the RUMUORAZI Group) has always produced the head of Rumueme. The common ground of disagreement has been; which branch in Ebara (Oroazi) group has been producing the head of Rumueme to wit: is it Nyenweli Nsirim, who heads the Appellants' Rumueme Council of Chiefs or the 8th Respondent (Ohahuru Samuel Akaninwo) who head the Respondents' Rumueme Council of Chiefs, Elders and Owhor holders. 

2) That this core issue is answered conclusively by the document sought to be produced and received as further evidence in this appeal to with: the 1928-1931 Intelligence Report on the Obia Clan, Ikwerre Tribe, Ahoada Division by the Southern Provinces of British Colonial Government, a pre-independence Intelligence Report of British Government.

3) That the existence of the said document (i.e. the 1928-1931 Intelligence Report on the Obia Clan, Ikwerre Tribe, Ahoada Division by the Southern Provinces of British Colonial Government), was not known to the Appellants/Applicants' until 28th July, 2010 when the Appellant/Applicants' new Counsel stumbled on it while undertaking research on another subject the Nigerian National Archives, Ibadan.

4) That this colonial document (an independent and unbiased Intelligence Report of the Colonial Government) is credible, reliable and capable of being believed.

5) That this Archival is applicable under the RULE IN KOJO VS BONSIE to resolve the two conflicting traditional histories put forward by the two sides in this appeal by resort to this unbiased, credible, reliable and believable historical document.

6) That no oral evidence is required as the said document speaks for itself and corroborates and compliments existing oral testimonies in the Record of Appeal and the said document, if received, will have an important, crucial and indeed pivotal effect on this appeal.

7) That it is in the interest of both the Appellants and the Respondents that this independent antique document (the 1928-1931 Intelligence Report on the Obia Clan, Ikwerre Tribe, Ahoada Division by the Southern Provinces of British Colonial Government) is received in that is states the correct and independently investigated historical headship/rulership of Rumueme as at 1928-1931.

8) That this Honourable Court has in several instances and cases sought to discourage Judges from basing their judgements on mere beliefs and/or disbelief. That from Record of Appeal (pages 276, lines 8-25) it is clear the judgement of the lower Court and that of the trial Court were wholly founded on the beliefs and/or disbeliefs of the trial Court who merely stated that he disbelieved the Appellants and believed the Respondents without stating the basis for his beliefs and/or disbeliefs, this Archival document takes this appeal from the realm of beliefs and/or disbeliefs unto the firm grounds of proof."

The Appellants/Applicants supported their application with a 21-paragraph Affidavit.

On their part, the Respondents filed a 57-paragraph Counter-Affidavit in opposition to the Appellants/Applicants' Motion. 

By way of reply, the Appellants/Applicants also filed a Further Affidavit of 31 paragraphs in Reply to the Respondents' Counter-Affidavit.




ISSUES:
The Court determined the application on a sole issue as formulated by the applicants:
"Whether the Appellants/Applicants have met the conditions for the grant of this application."

DECISION/HELD:
In conclusion, the Court granted the application.


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