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CHIEF EUGENE ENEH v. NIGERIA DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION & ORS

(2018) LPELR-44902(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 6th day of July, 2018

SC.86/2006


Before Their Lordships

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

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

CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

AMIRU SANUSI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

EJEMBI EKO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

CHIEF EUGENE ENEH - Appellant(s)

AND

1. NIGERIA DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION
2. THE REGISTRAR OF DEED MINISTRY OF LANDS ENUGU STATE
3. HON. ATTORNEY GENERAL ENUGU STATE. - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on jurisdiction of Court.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, setting aside the interlocutory decision of the Enugu State High Court.
???On the 18th day of August 1998 the appellant commenced an action at the trial Court, against the respondents, claiming as follows:
"(1) A declaration that the plaintiff is entitled to right of occupancy of that parcel of land known as and called plot 10 Block VI Ogui New Layout, Enugu by virtue of a Deed of Assignment registered as No. 21 at page 21 in Volume 1400 of the Lands Registry in the office at Enugu.
(2) A declaration that the 1st defendant is not competent and has no locus standi to apply by way of Motion on Notice to set aside an irrevocable Power of Attorney registered as No. 9 at page 9 in Volume 1397 in the Lands Registry at the office in Enugu the basis of which the plaintiff was granted a Deed of Assignment.
(3) A declaration that the purported Order made on 27th January 1998 in suit No. FBT/EZ/31/96 by the Failed Bank Tribunal Enugu zone in a Motion on Notice at the instance of the 1st defendant setting aside the said irrevocable power of Attorney registered as No. 9 page 9 in Volume 1397 at the Lands registry, invalid, null and void.
(4) An order compelling the 2nd defendant to restore in its books all entries relating to the Power of Attorney dated 8th day of March 1998 and registered as No. 9 at page 9 in Volume 1397 of the Lands Registry in the office at Enugu.
(5) An injunction restraining the defendants, their servants and or agents from disposing of by way of sale the said property known as Plot 10 Block VI Ogui New Layout Enugu and or the registration of any title relating to it without the consent of the plaintiff."
The 1st respondent filed two motions, both of which challenged the trial Court's jurisdiction to entertain the suit. The two applications, on being consolidated, were argued together. The trial Court, dismissed 1st respondent's objections to its jurisdiction to hear and determine appellant's suit. Dissatisfied, the 1st respondent appealed to the Court of Appeal, which allowed the appeal and set aside the trial Court's ruling. Aggrieved, appellant appealed to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
The issue for determination is:
"Was the lower Court right in holding that the trial Court, i.e. the Enugu State High Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit having regard to the reliefs as averred in the statement of claim?"

DECISION/HELD:
In conclusion, the appeal was dismissed.


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