ALILONU & ANOR v. NJOKU (2017)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Monday, the 3rd day of July, 2017

CA/OW/334/2013

Before Their Lordships

AYOBODE OLUJIMI LOKULO-SODIPE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria
ITA GEORGE MBABA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria
TUNDE OYEBANJI AWOTOYE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

NZE H.C. ALILONU & ANOR  Appellant

AND

EZE CYRIL CHUKWUEMEKA NJOKU  Respondent

…………………….A…………………….

TUNDE OYEBANJI AWOTOYE, J.C.A.(Delivering the Leading Judgment): This is the judgment in respect of the appeal filed on 15/4/2013 by the appellants against the judgment of Imo State High Court sitting at Owerri delivered on 16/1/2013.By paragraph 13 of their statement of claim the plaintiff claimed as follows:-
Wherefore the plaintiffs claim against Defendant as follows:
(a) A declaration that no Autonomous Community is known as and called Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community in Imo State.
(b) A declaration that Emekuku Autonomous Community is not part of Umuakaliukwu Autonomous Community.
(c) A declaration that the Defendant is not the Eze of Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community.
(d) An order restraining the Defendant and his agents from representing the Defendant as Eze of Umualaliukwu Autonomous Community.

Parties filed and exchanged pleadings. The learned trial Judge after hearing parties gave judgment as follows:-
By virtue of the contents of Exhibits G and L, the Claimants Autonomous Community is Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community and not Emekuku Autonomous Community. It is the evidence of DW2 who is from the same Autonomous Community with the Claimants that the name of their Community is Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community. It is also in evidence of the PW1 that the Defendant is not the Traditional Ruler of the Claimants Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community. The PW1 also admitted that the Defendant has not at any function represented himself as the Traditional Ruler of the Claimant Autonomous Community.
In Exhibit K, the Defendant was addressed as Aro Ukwu 1 of Umualiukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community recognized to be Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community into his own. The Claimant Autonomous Community is different and distinct from that of the Defendant. There is no evidence of confusion or deception in the names of the Autonomous Community of the Claimant and the Defendant. The case of: NIGER CHEMIST LTD V. NIGERIA CHEMIST & ANOR (1961) ALL NLR 180 AT 184.
Cited by the learned Counsel in this case is not applicable in this case. Issue No. 2 is resolved in the negative and against the Claimant in favour of the Defendant.

Issue No 3 whether the Claimant have the locus Standi to institute the action. locus Standi denotes the legal capacity to institute proceedings in a Court of law. See: THOMAS V. OLUFOSOYE (1986) 1 NWLR PART 18, 660.
For a person to have the locus standi to enable him bring the action, he must disclose sufficient interest in the subject matter of the intended suit which has been, is being or threatened to be adversely affected by that of the Defendant in respect of which he calls on the Court to intervene. In determining the locus standi of Claimant, it is the claim as endorsed in the Writ of Summons and the averment in the Statement of Claim that the Court will examine to determine the Claimants locus standi. See: A.G. ANAMBRA STATE V A.G. FEDERATION (2007) 12 NWLR PART 1047, 4 AT 93.

From the Writ of Summons and the Statement of claim, the Clamant are claiming the following reliefs against the Defendant:
a. A declaration that no Autonomous Community is known as and called Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community in Imo State.
b. A declaration that Emekuku Autonomous Community is not part of Umuakaliukwu Autonomous Community.
c. A declaration that the Defendant is not the 
Eze of Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community.
d. An order restraining the Defendant and his agents from representing the Defendant as Eze of Umualaliukwu Autonomous Community.

…………………….B…………………….

It has not been shown or stated in the statement of claim that Umuakaliukwu Emekuku is the name of the Claimants Autonomous Community, that the Claimants are indigenes of Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community, that the Eze of the Claimants Autonomous Community is known as Eze of Umuakaliukwu Autonomous Community.
Arising from these claims, the Claimant have no business coming to this Court to ask for these reliefs that do not concern them but the people of Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community and its Traditional Ruler. The Claimant have no locus standi to institute this action.
This action is dismissed. Issue No 3 is resolved in the negative and in favour of the Defendant.
The claimants are to pay costs of this proceedings which I assess at N20,000.00 (twenty thousand naira) to the Defendant.
Dissatisfied with the judgment the appellant appealed to this Court on three grounds. The grounds of appeal are as follows:
GROUND 
ONE-ERROR IN LAW
The learned judge of the trial High Court erred in law when he held that Emekuku Autonomous Community as created in 1981 has ceased to exist as an Autonomous Community having given way to three Autonomous Communities created out of it.
PARTICULARS OF ERROR
a. It is not in dispute in this case that Emekuku Autonomous Community was created by the Imo State House of Assembly pursuant to the Imo State Traditional Rulers and Autonomous Communities Law No. 11 of 1981, which law was tendered and admitted in evidence as Exhibit F.
b. It is also not in dispute in this case that Umuakaliukwu Autonomous Community and Azaraubo Autonomous Community were created in 2003 out of Emekuku Autonomous Community in accordance with the Imo State Traditional Rulers and Autonomous Communities Law.
c. The relevant provision of the Traditional Rulers and Autonomous Communities Law provide for the creation of Autonomous Communities or the merging of two or more Autonomous Community by the Legislature (Imo State House of Assembly).
d. There was no evidence before the trial High Court about the merging of Emekuku 
Autonomous Community with any other Autonomous Community as to bring its existence to an end.
e. The power to change the name of an Autonomous Community duly created by the Legislature involves an amendment of that law and there was no evidence before the trial High Court of any such amendment of Law No. 11 of 1981.
f. Exhibit L which was purported published by the Governor of Imo State and relied upon by the trial judge in coming to the decision that Emekuku Autonomous Community has ceased to exist was procured by the Defendant during the pending of this suit.
GROUND TWO-ERROR IN LAW
The learned judge of the trial High Court erred in law when he held in his judgment in this case that the claimants Autonomous Community is Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community and that there is no evidence of confusion of deception in the names of the Autonomous Communities of the Claimants and the Defendant.
PARTICULARS OF ERROR
a. The Claimant pleaded and testified that the name of their Autonomous Community is Emekuku Autonomous Community which was created and established by virtue of Imo State Law No. 11 of 1981 (Exhibit 
F).
b. There is also evidence, both oral and documentary that Umuakaliukwu Autonomous Community was created as an Autonomous Community in 2003 with the Defendant as their Traditional Ruler.
c. The case of the claimant is that the defendant sometimes in April 2005, designated himself as the Eze of Umuakaliukwu Autonomous Community thereby incorporating the claimants Emekuku Autonomous Community into his own Umuakaliukwu Autonomous Community; which act was intended to mislead and deceive

…………………….C…………………….

the public.
d. The Defendant, sometime in September 2007 during the pendency of this suit, procedure a document from the Governor of Imo State to the effect that the Claimants Autonomous Community is no longer Emekuku, but Ezemba Autonomous Community; which document was relied upon by the trial High Court Judge in coming to the conclusion that there is no evidence of confusion or deception in the names of the Autonomous Communities of the parties.
GROUND THREE
The learned judge of the trial High Court erred in law when he held in his judgment in this case that the Claimant have no business coming to this Court to ask for these reliefs that do not concern them.
PARTICULARS OF ERROR
a. The Claimant reliefs before the trial High Court are as follows.
(i) A declaration that nob Autonomous Community is known as and called Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community in Imo State.
(ii) A declaration that Emekuku Autonomous Community is not part of Umuakaliukwu Autonomous Community.
(iii) A declaration that the Defendant is not the Eze Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community
(iv) An order restraining the Defendant and his agents from representing the Defendant as Eze of Umualaliukwu Autonomous Community.
b. The Claimants had shown by their pleading and evidence that they are indigenes of Emekuku Autonomous Community while the Defendant is the Traditional Ruler of Umuakaliukwu Autonomous Community.
c. The claimant case is against the Defendant use of the name Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community which is intended to mislead and deceive the public into believing that the Claimants Emekuku Autonomous Community is part of Umuakaliukwu Autonomous Community.
d. There is no law that created what the 
Defendant and the Court referred to as Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community.
e. The Claimants in this case disclosed sufficient interest in the subject matter of this suit which is the incorporation of the name of their Autonomous Community into the Defendants Autonomous Community.

The record of this appeal was deemed transmitted on 9/6/2014. Parties subsequently filed and exchanged briefs of argument.
The appellants briefs of argument settled by E. C. Ekechukwu their counsel was filed on 3/3/15 but deemed filed on the same date.
The Respondent by A. I. Nwachukwu, his counsel was filed on 21/7/2015.
E. C. Ekechukwu for appellant nominated three issues for determination to wit:-
1. Whether Emekuku Autonomous Community in Imo State has ceased to exist as an Autonomous Community.
2. Whether the trial Court was right in holding that the Appellants Autonomous Community is Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community. Ground 2.
3. Whether the name of the Appellant Autonomous Community was usurped by the Respondents as to cloth the Appellant with laws stand to bring the action. Ground 3.

Learned counsel for the Respondent equally formulated three issues which are essentially the same with the issues formulated by appellants counsel.
I shall therefore determine this appeal in the light of the issues.
SUBMISSION OF COUNSEL AND RESOLUTION OF ISSUES

…………………….D…………………….

ISSUE NO 1.
Learned appellants counsel submitted that the extant law before the commencement of this action at the Lower Court was IMO STATE OF NIGERIA TRADITIONAL RULERS AND AUTHONOMOUS COMMUNITIES LAW NO 6 of 2006. He referred to Section 22 of the said law and submitted that the creation of Emekuku Autonomous Community could only be legislated out of existence through the same legislative process. He urged the Court to hold that exhibits K and L were not validly made and amounted to usurpation of the function of the legislature by the executive. He cited EKEOCHA V CIVIL CERVICE COMMISSION OF IMO STATE & ANOR (1981) 1 NCLR 154.
He urged the Court to resolve the issue in appellants favour.
A. I. Nwachukwu Esq. Respondent counsel on the other hand urged the Court to resolve this issue in favour of the Respondents. He reviewed the evidence adduced at the Lower Court and submitted that having regards to the evidence of PW1, DW1, DW2 and Exhibits G and L Emekuku Autonomous Community as created in 1981 no longer existed.
He also urged the Court to affirm the evaluation of the evidence by the Lower Court since it was properly done. He cited HARUNA V A-G of FEDERATION (2012) ALL FWLR (Pt. 632) 1617 at 1637.
He asserted that the findings of the Lower Court were not challenged on appeal and so, should be binding. He cited OLUKOYA V ASHIRU (2006) ALL FWLR (Pt. 322) 1479 at 1498 etc.
In further argument learned Respondent counsel that the findings of the Lower Court on Exhibits H, J and K were not challenged in this appeal. He submitted that such findings were conclusive and binding on all parties. He cited OLUKOYA V ASHIRU (2006) ALL FWLR (Pt. 322) 1479 at 1498 and other cases.
The posited further that a Courts jurisdiction to intervene in the exercise of executive powers arose only when the exercise of such power was not in accordance with the law. He cited A-G ANAMBRA STATE V OKAFOR (1992) 2NWLR (PT 224) 196 at 419. He finally urged the Court to resolve this issue in favour of the Respondents.
I have deeply considered the submission of learned counsel on both sides.
The claim of the Plaintiffs at the Lower Court challenged the creation of Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community in Imo State in the year 2003 by virtue of Imo State Government Official Gazette No 4 Volume 28 of 2003 and a letter dated 21/8/2004.
The law governing a case is the law at the time in force. See AYINDE & ORS v ADIGUN (1993) NWLR (PT 313) 516, S. P. D. C. v ANARO (2015) LPELR-24750(SC). What was the law in force in respect of the creation of Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community in the year 2003?
It is clear that the law then was TRADITIONAL RULERS, AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES AND ALLIED MATTERS (AMENDMENT) LAW OF 2000.
By virtue of the said law Section 3(g) of the law delered Section 14 (a & b) of the principal law i. e. TRADITIONAL RULERS AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES AND ALLIED MATTERS LAW NO 3 of 1999.
In its place, a new Section was substituted. The new section reads thus
The Governor shall have power to create new autonomous communities or merge existing autonomous communities.
Section 23 (1) and (2) of the principal

…………………….E…………………….

law was further amended by Section 3(K) of the 2000 Amended Law.
Section 23 (1) and (2) of the principal law was replaced with Section 23 which read as follows:
Any community requesting to be recognized by the Government as an Autonomous Community shall direct its application to the Governor.
A reading together of the above section confirm the finding of the learned trial judge that the creation merge of and change of name of Autonomous Community is an executive, function and not a legislative function. Was the Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community created in conformity with the provision of Traditional Rulers Autonomous Communities and Allied Matters (Amendment) Law of 2000? The contention of the Appellant was that the community ought to have been created in line with the provision of Imo State of Nigeria Traditional Rulers and Autonomous Communities Law No 6 of 2006. I respectfully disagree Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community was created by virtue of the Imo State Government Official Gazette No 4 Volume 28 of 2003. As afore stated earlier in this judgment that the law in force as the time was the Traditional Rulers Autonomous Communities and Allied Matters Law No 3 1999 (as amended) which made the creation or merger of Autonomous communities in Imo State the sole function of the executive to the exclusion of the legislature. I hold that the creation of Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community was in compliance with the provisions of the Traditional Rulers Autonomous Communities and Allied Matters Law No 3 of 1999 (as amended). I therefore resolve this issue in favour of the Respondent.
ISSUE NO 2
Whether the trial Court was right in holding that the Appellants Autonomous Community is Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community.
E. C. Ekechukwu, Appellants solicitor on this issue submitted that the Respondent neither filed a counter claim nor a cross-action and did not ask for any relief to declare Emekuku Autonomous Community as Ezemba Autonomous Community as the learned trial judge held on page 164 of the record of appeal. He argued that Exhibit G and L did not create Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community as they were not laws of the Imo State House of Assembly. He relied on the provision of Section 22 of the Imo State of Nigeria Traditional Rulers and Autonomous Communities Law of 2006.
The Appellants counsel submitted that a Court had no power to grant a relief not asked for by the parties. The cited OLUROTIMI v IGE (1993) & NWLR (PT 311) 257 as 271 and 275.
On the issue, the Respondents counsel referred the Court to the averments in the pleadings at the Lower Court and submitted that the correct name of the Appellants Autonomous Community was made an issue by the parties. He referred to paragraph 1-5 of statement of claim and paragraph 2-6 of the statement of defence. He stated further that the Respondents relied on Exhibit G, H, J, K and L in his position that the Appellants were Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community. He urged the Court not disturb the findings of fact by the Lower Court as they were not challenged in this appeal by the Appellant. He cited OLUKOYA v ASHIRU (2006) ALL FWLR (PT 322) 1479 at 1498. He submitted further that the reliefs of sought by the Appellants were dismissed and that no relief was granted to the Respondent except costs. He urged the Court to resolve this issue in favour of the Respondent
I have also deeply considered the submission of learned counsel on both sides on this issue.

…………………….F…………………….

It is pertinent at this stage to bring the parties in contention into proper perspective to capture the relevant parties of the judgment of the learned trial judge.
On page 164 of the record of appeal the learned trial Judge found as follows:
By virtue of the contents of Exhibits G and L, the Claimants Autonomous Community is Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community and not Emekuku Autonomous Community. It is the evidence of DW2 who is from the same Autonomous Community with the Claimants that the name of their Community is Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community. It is also in evidence of the PW1 that the Defendant is not the Traditional Ruler of the Claimants Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community. The PW1 also admitted that the defendant has not at any function represented himself as the Traditional Ruler of the Claimants Autonomous Community.
In Exhibit k, the defendant was addressed as Aro Ukwu 1 of Umualiukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community. By this, the Defendant has not incoeporated the Claimants Autonomous Community recognized to be Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community into his own. The Claimants Autonomous Community is different and distinct from that of the Defendant. There is no evidence of confusion or deception in the names of the Autonomous Community of the Claimants and the defendant.
With the above holding, did the learned trial judge grant a relief to the Defendant?
Again in the conclusion of his judgment on page 164-165 of the record of appeal, the learned trial Judge dismissed the relief of the claimants in the following terms:
From the writ of summons and the statement of claim the claimants are claiming the following reliefs against the Defendant
a. A declaration that no Autonomous Community is known as and called Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Community in Imo State.
b. A declaration that Emekuku Autonomous Community is not part of Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community.
c. A declaration that the defendant is not the Eze of Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community.
d. An order restraining the Defendant and his agents from representing the Defendant as the Eze of Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community.
It has not been shown or stated in the Statement of Claim that Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous is 
the name of the Claimants Autonomous Community, that the Claimants are indigenes of Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community, that the Eze of the claimants Autonomous Community is known as Eze of Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community.
Arising from these claims, the Claimants have no business coming to this Court to ask for these reliefs that do not concern them but the people of Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community and its Traditional Rulers.

True, a Court makes orders on the reliefs or issues raised by the parties. A Court cannot grant a relief not sought by the parties. See FUNDUK ENGINEERING LTD v JAMES MCARTHUR & ORS IN RE MADAKI (1996) 7 NWLR PT (459) 153. AWODI & ANOR v AJAGBE (2014) LPELR-SC 301/2007.
These is a difference between a finding of a Court on resolution of an issue between the parties and the grant of a relief. A finding when in favour of a Plaintiff or a counter-claimant gives him a right to a relief. A finding is not a relief but it is a pedestal on which a relief stands. A finding springs from a resolution of an issue between the parties but it is not a relief. A relief has to be claimed or sought by the parties. A finding in favour of a Defendant cannot give birth to an unclaimed relief but can be a defence for the Defendant. See UGO v OBIEKWE (1989) NWLR (PT 99) 566 at 581.

…………………….G…………………….

Having gone through the pleadings at the Lower Court, I am of the respectful view that the name Emekuku Autonomous Community was made an issue between the parties. In the course of resolving the issue the learned trial Judge made a finding of fact. The said finding is not a relief! The learned trial Judge went further to dismiss the reliefs sought by the Plaintiff. It was the relief sought by the Plaintiff that was dismissed. The next question to consider is whether or not the finding of facts was right. It appears to me clear that the finding of the Lower Court was in line with the contents of Exhibit K tendered before the Lower Court Exhibit K is on page 227 of the record of appeal. It reads thus:
Office of the Executive Governor
Government of Imo State of Nigeria
Bureau of Local Government &
Chieftaincy Affairs Owerri.
Tel: 0803230614
August 24 2006
HRH Eze P. ugochukwu
Obi III of Ezemba Emekuku
Autonomous Community Owerri North local Government Area.
HRH Eze Cyril C. Njoku (JP)
Aro Ukwu I of Umualiukwu
Emekuku Autonomous Community
Owerri North Local Government Area

HRH Eze Anthony O. C. Egbujor Atoogu
Eze Udo I of Azaraubo Emekuku
Autonomous Community
Owerri North Local Government

MEMORANDUM ON RENAMING OF OLD AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES 
RE: EMEKUKU AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY
I am directed to convey His Excellency, the Executive Governors approval that the balance of old Autonomous Communities after the creation of new ones out of the should be renamed.
By this approval, therefore, Emekuku has become a generic name for the component parts of the old Emekuku Autonomous Community. In other words, what remains of the old Emekuku Autonomous Community is now Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community. Thus the three component Autonomous Communities in Emekuku to be known and called as follows:
1. Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community
2. Umualiukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community
3. Azaraubo Emekuku Autonomous Community
All communities involved are advised to accept it in good faith for peaceful 
co-existed of the people of the Emekuku Autonomous Communities.
SGD
OGBUAGU BONS NWABIANI
Special Adviser (BLGCA).

It is not the grant of a relief. I also hold that the holding of the Lower Court was right: this issue is resolved in favour of the Respondent.
ISSUE NO 3
Whether the Lower Court was not right in holding that the Appellants did not have the requisite locus standi to institute the action.
Learned Appellants counsel submitted that Emekuku Autonomous Community were distinct Autonomous Communities created by law. He argued that what the learned trial Court ought to have considered was

…………………….H…………………….

whether the statement of claim contained averments showing sufficient interest on the part of the claimants to institute the action. He cited TAIWO v ADEGBORO (2011) 11 NWLR (PT 1259) 562 at 569.
He contested that the Appellants had established that their rights had been infringed by the Respondent who incorporated and adopted the Appellants Autonomous Communitys name as his own. He further cited NIGER CHEMISTS LTD v NIGERIA CHEMISTS & ANOR (1961) ALL NLR 180 he urged the Court to hold that the Appellants established their locus standi to institute the action which was aimed at protecting their right from being infringed by the Respondent A. I. NWACHUKWU Esquire learned counsel for the Respondent on this issue submitted that the Lower Court was right in holding that the Appellants did not have locus standi to institute this action. He referred to THOMAS V OLUFOSOYE (1986) 1NWLR (PT 18) 660; NYAME v FRN (2010) ALL FWLR (PT 527) 618 AT 663. 
He submitted that the Appellants could not have been joined as parties to the suit if some other party had commenced the suit. The further posited that the Appellants could not suffer any hardship or injury arising from the litigation if some other party commenced the action. The cited ANOZIE v A-G (LAGOS STATE) (2012) ALL FWLR (PT 631) 1522 at 1543-1544.
He contended further that since the name of Appellants Autonomous Community was not Emekuku Autonomous Community the Appellants lacked locus standi to institute the action. He therefore urged the Court to resolve this issue in favour of the Respondent.
I have earlier reproduced the contents of Exhibit K. Exhibit k is the letter (memorandum) to the Eze of each of Ezemba Emekuku Autonomous Community, Umuakaliukwu Emekuku Autonomous Community and Azaraubo Emekuku Autonomous Community conveying the renaming of old Autonomous Communities of Emekuku Autonomous Community. This letter was preceded by an earlier publication in the Imo State of Nigeria Official Gazette Volume 28 of 29/10/2003 (Exhibit G-see pages 220-222 of record of appeal). By the said Gazette the new approved list Autonomous Community in Imo State include under Emekeukwu the following Ezemba Umuakaliukwu and Azaraubo. Each of these Autonomous Communities is now distinct and separate. What interest does the Appellant have in contesting the name of another Autonomous Community rightly named in line with the provision of the Imo State of Nigeria Traditional Rulers and Autonomous Communities and Allied Matters Law of 1999 (as amended)? The Appellants did not show any hardship or injury they suffered and of course they could not have been joined had the action at the Lower Court been instituted by another person. They clearly lacked locus standi. See ILORI V BENSON (2000) FWLR (PT 26) 1846 at 1857; A-G FEDERATION v A-G ABIA STATE & ORS (2001) FWLR (PT64) 201 at 277, A-G ANAMBRA STATE v A-G (FED.) (2007) 12 NWLR (PT 1047) and YAR’DUA & ORS v YANDOMA (2014) LPELR SC 2014 (CONSOLIDATED). I hold that the learned trial Judge was right to have held that the claimants (Appellants) lacked locus standi at the Lower Court in the suit I also resolve this issue in favour of the Respondent.
The appeal lacks merit. It is accordingly dismissed with N50,000.00 costs in favour of the Respondent.
AYOBODE OLUJIMI LOKULO-SODIPE, J.C.A.: I had the privilege of reading the draft of the leading judgment delivered by my learned brother T. O. AWOTOYE, JCA; and I am in complete agreement with the reasoning and conclusion of his lordship in respect of the appeal.
Accordingly, I too dismiss the appeal and abide by the order in relation to costs as contained in the leading judgment.
ITA GEORGE MBABA, J.C.A.: I agree with the reasoning and conclusions of my learned brother, T. O. AWOTOYE JCA, in the lead judgment, just delivered that the appeal lacks merit. I too dismiss the appeal and abide by the consequential orders in the lead judgment.

Appearances

E. C. Ekechuwu. For Appellant

AND

A. I. Nwachukwu. For Respondent

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