AGUBUCHIE v. ONWUDINJO & ORS (2017)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 27th day of January, 2017

CA/E/166/2013

Before Their Lordships

TOM SHAIBU YAKUBU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria
RITA NOSAKHARE PEMU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria
MISITURA OMODERE BOLAJI-YUSUFF Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

PATRICK AGUBUCHIE Appellant(s)

AND

1. SYLVANUS ONWUDINJO
2. OZOR CHINYELUGO ONWUDINJO
3. MALACHY ONWUDINJO
(For and on behalf of Njoku Onwudinjo family) Respondent(s)

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TOM SHAIBU YAKUBU, J.C.A. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): This appeal is sequel to the decision of the Enugu State Customary Court of Appeal delivered at Enugu on 23rd June, 2011 which affirmed the judgment of the Customary Court, Ukana in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, against the appellants.The parties are said to be descendants of the same ancestor called Ezeam Enyi who had many children and before he died, he had shared his lands amongst his sons namely: Ezeam Attah and Agudile Ezeam Enyi. There was a dispute over a portion of land between the parties herein. The respondents who were the plaintiffs at the trial Customary Court, are descendants of Ezeam Attah whilst the appellant as defendant is a descendant of Agudile Ezeam Enyi.
The claim of the respondents at the trial Customary Court was for:-
(a) A declaration that the plaintiffs are entitled to the customary right of occupancy over the disputed land;
(b) An injunction restraining the defendant from further entry and claim of ownership of the disputed land;
(c) An order of the Court restraining the defendant from tampering/destroying the
“Agidi Ezeaenyi” created by Ezeam Enyi himself;
(d) An order of the Court for the removal of charms planted by the defendant on the disputed land and
(e) An order or orders as the Court may deem fit.
Both parties testified and called witnesses who gave evidence for them. The Court also visited the locus in quo to see things for itself. At the end of the trial, judgment was entered for the plaintiffs/respondents. The appellant, not being satisfied with that judgment entered against him by the Customary Court Ukana on 17th July, 1996; appealed to the Enugu State Customary Court of Appeal, Enugu. The parties’ counsel filed and exchanged their respective briefs of argument at the latter Court hereinafter simply referred to as the Court below. In her judgment delivered on 23rd June, 2013; the Court below dismissed the appeal and affirmed the judgment of the trial Customary Court.
The appellant, not unnaturally, being piqued by the decision of the Court below against him, further appealed to this Court. The appeal was erected on five grounds of appeal, dated 14th January, 2013 but filed on 25th January, 2013.
The appellant, in order to prosecute the appeal, filed the appellant’s brief of argument on 31st May, 2013. Thereafter, the respondents’ brief of argument which was filed on 6th Feb., 2014; with leave of this Court sought and obtained, the same was deemed as properly filed and served on 5th February, 2016. And in response thereto, the appellant’s reply brief of argument was filed on 19th February, 2016.
Chief Okwuchukwu Ugolo, SAN, who settled the appellant’s brief of argument, identified four issues therein, for the determination of this appeal, to wit:
i. Whether the lower Court was right in law when it upheld the finding of the Customary Court that it was the Appellant that caused the interruption of the boundary line a little away from Agubuchie Agudile’s compound without ascertaining who caused the interruption.
ii. Whether the lower Court was right in law when it refused to use the provisions of Section 53 of the Customary Court Law and Order 20 Rule II (1) and (2) of the Customary Court of Appeal Rules of Enugu State to reverse the decision of the Customary Court which was based on the result of an inspection exercise in which the Appellant was not accorded fair hearing.

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iii. Whether the lower Court was right in law when it refused to set aside the judgment of the Customary Court which was based on decisions of three arbitral bodies copies of which were not tendered in the said Customary Court and which decisions were disputed.
iv. Whether the lower Court was right in law when it stated that the judgment of the Customary Court was apt in the circumstances because Malachy Eze did not tell the Court who stopped the customary exercise of paying tribute with banana heads and the reaction of the Agubuchie family toward that.
The above four issues were adopted by Dr. Z. Chukwuemeka Anyogu, who settled the respondents’ brief of argument.
Arguing issue 1, it is Chief Ugolo’s contention that since the trial Customary Court did not find out and there was no evidence placed before it as to who caused the interruption in the ancient boundary line between the parties’ grand fathers, it was an erroneous decision by the Customary Court which was affirmed by the Court below to the effect that it was the appellant who caused the alleged interruption to the ancient boundary line.
On his part, Dr. Anyogu for the respondents, submitted that albeit that there was no direct evidence as to the person who caused the interruption of the ancient boundary line, there is secondary evidence premised on inference, that it is the appellant who stood to gain from the interruption of the ancient boundary line, that must be held responsible for the same and that the Court below was justified in affirming the decision of the trial Customary Court.
Unarguably, there was no evidence led and proffered by any of the witnesses at the trial in open Court or at the locus in quo, with respect to a disruption or interruption of the ancient boundary lines between the grandfathers of the parties herein. It was the trial Customary Court, when on its visit to the locus in quo, on inspection of the land in dispute that recorded its notes at page 35 of the record of appeal, thus:
“The plaintiffs took the Court to another area. Here the plaintiffs claimed that Ezeam Enyi allotted to Ezeam Attah. There the Court noted that there are some ancient boundary lines called Agidi Ezeam Enyi. They were two in number. One of the two Agidi’s run from home to the outskirt of the village Enugu Ezeachi to the open grassland. The other one, which forms the boundary line between the family of Agubuchie Agudile and Okwedibe Ezeam Attah. This ancient boundary line between the two families mentioned above was interrupted, a little away from the compound of Agubuchie Agudile. With this interruption, a new boundary line was created, thereby dividing the ancient boundary line into two halves. Standing in the compound of Agubuchie Agudile and looking towards the front a diversion was created on the left, an unwarranted incursion giving rise to what is today called disputed land. The disputed land is located immediately behind Okwedibe’s house.”
Furthermore, at page 36 of the record of appeal, the trial Customary Court said:
“Another place the plaintiffs took the Court to was where Okwedibe Ezeam Attah lived. The Court witnessed that it was a statement of fact that the ancient boundary line divided the families of Agubuchie Agudile and Okwedibe Ezeam Attah.”
It is the foregoings which culminated in the first observation of the trial Customary Court at page 37 of the record of appeal, to wit:
“1. Ezeam Attah Ezeam Enyi was the father of four sons namely Oluotome Ezeam Attah, Ezeam Udeigwe Ezeam Attah, Okwedibe Ezeam Attah and the last but not the least was Omekanwoke Ezeam Attah. Their father Ezeam Attah allotted to each son lands where to live and where to farm. Ancient boundary line called Agidi Ezeam Enyi were used in demarcating one share of allocation from the other. One Agidi was used between Oluotome and Ezeam Udigwe. This Agidi runs from

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home to the outskirt of the village Enugu Ezeachi undistorted to the open grass land. The next one between Ezeam Udigwe and Okwedibe Ezeam Attah was interrupted just at the compound of Agubuchie Agudile on the left side of his compound. This interruption divided the boundary line into two halves.
A curve or a bend was created which the defendant recognized as a new boundary line. This new boundary line created what is now called a disputed land and whoever caused the interruption a little away from Agubuchie Agudile’s compound for an unwarranted incursion into Okwedibe’s land immediately behind Okwedibe Ezeam Attah’s house was liable. If the ancient boundary line called Agidi Ezeam Enyi were allowed to run from home to the outskirt of the village unto the grass land there couldn’t have been any trouble at all.”
Undoubtedly, according to the observation of the trial Customary Court, it is the interruption of the ancient boundary line between the grandfathers of the parties herein, which ignited the trouble which cascaded to the land dispute between the parties. Therefore, the trial Customary Court realized and pinpointed the cause of the land dispute between the parties. However, as rightly observed by the Court below in her judgment at page 118 of the record of appeal, the trial Customary Court did not ascertain the person who caused the interruption. However, the appellant was held liable. Was it good enough for the trial Customary Court to have inferred that it is the appellant and no one else who caused the interruption in question? Would it have been out of place for the trial Customary Court, to have asked either the respondents or the appellant, if they know who caused the interruption which led to the land in dispute? To my mind, this basic inquiry and answers derived from it, would have put the trial Customary Court on a firmer ground before coming to the inference that the appellant was liable for the interruption of the ancient boundary line, which might have been caused by the appellant’s grandfather or father or even any of the respondents’ forebears.
I am afraid, I do not think that the trial Customary Court’s observation in question was enough ground for finding the appellant liable for the interruption of the ancient boundary line between the grandfathers of the parties. Perhaps, if the trial Customary Court had found some pieces of evidence of facts to support its observation aforementioned, the result could have been on a firmer ground. It is against basing of a trial Court’s decision or conclusion on its observation at a locus in quo in the absence of a sworn testimony by a witness of those facts allegedly observed by the Court, that the Supreme Court in Oba Ipinlaiye II v. Olukotun (1996) 6 SCNJ 74 at 95;cautioned that:
” … the trial Court should be careful to avoid placing himself in the position of a witness and arriving at conclusion based on his personal observation of which there is no evidence in support on record. It is not open to substitute this result of his own observation for the sworn testimony nor to reach conclusions from his observations at the scene in the absence of any sworn testimony to the existence or non-existence of the facts he had observed.”
Furthermore, in Ogundele v. Fasu (1999) 12 NWLR (pt. 632) 662; (1999) LPELR – 2329 (SC) at p. 27, the same point was reiterated by Iguh, JSC, that:
“It is beyond argument that a trial Judge may, if he thinks fit, inspect any property, movable or immovable, the inspection of which may be material to the proper determination of a question in dispute before the Court. The law is however well settled that a trial Court must arrive at its judgment not on the impression from its visit to the locus in quo but upon its impressions from the totality of the legal evidence adduced before the Court.”
In the instant case, I have earlier in this judgment, demonstrated that there is no shred of legally admissible evidence placed before the trial Customary Court to the effect that the interruption in the ancient boundary line earlier established between the grandfathers of the parties, was caused by the appellant. The conclusion or decision of the trial Customary Court was clearly premised on its observation as it

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saw things at the visit to the locus in quo. I am of the firm and considered opinion that the said conclusion predicated on the observation and impression formed by the trial Customary Court, to the effect that the appellant was liable for the interruption of the ancient boundary line established between the parties’ grandfathers, was not borne out of any legally admissible evidence proffered by any witness in that Court. Hence, the same finding, to my mind is clearly perverse and the decision or conclusion derived from it, is certainly erroneous and cannot be allowed to stand.
Indeed, appellate Courts are reluctant to interfere with concurrent findings of lower Courts as in the instant case, moreso, where the matter arose from the decisions of Customary Courts which are generally not circumscribed by strict rules of evidence and pleadings. Onwuama v. Ezeokoli (2002) 5 NWLR (pt. 760) 365; Ikpang v. Edoho(1978) 6 – 7 SC 221; Chukwueke v. Okoronkwo (1999) 1 NWLR (pt. 587) 410; Duru v. Onwumelu (2001) 18 NWLR (pt.746) 672. Therefore, appellate Courts are enjoined to look at the substance rather than the form when considering appeals from Customary Courts. However, where as it is, in the instant case, it is glaring that on the face of the record of proceedings, as demonstrated earlier in this judgment, with respect to the trial Customary Court’s visit to the locus in quo and basing part of its judgment on its observation from the said visit, a grave miscarriage of justice has occurred and the conclusion reached by that Court is patently perverse, such a decision cannot be sustained. Olodo v. Josiah (2010) 18 NWLR (pt. 1225) 653 at 683.
In sum, I am satisfied that issue 1 be and it is resolved in favour of the appellant.
Arguing issue 2, the appellant’s learned senior counsel submitted that the appellant was not afforded equal opportunity by the trial Customary Court as it was given to the respondents, to state his own case at the locus in quo visit. He contended that the Court below ought to have exercised its powers pursuant to Section 53 of the Customary Court Law and Order 20 Rules II (1) and (2) of the Customary Court of Appeal Rules of Enugu State, and reversed the judgment of the trial Customary Court, for lack of fair hearing to the appellant.
On his part, the respondents’ counsel submitted that a close perusal of the record of appeal at pages 35 and 36 thereof which contain the events at locus in quo on 7th June, 1996 clearly showed that both parties actively participated at the proceedings at the locus in quo visit, therefore according to him, there was no denial of fair hearing to the appellant.
It is said that records do not tell lies. A perusal of pages 35 to 36 of the record of appeal, reveal clearly that both parties, actively participated at the proceedings at the locus in quo visit. There is no dispute as to the fact that the respondents who had the onus of proving their claim, had the onerous task and responsibility of pointing to features and boundary lines on the land in dispute in aid of establishing their claim. There is nothing on the record to indicate that the appellant was prevented from showing any feature or boundary lines known to him at the locus in quo inspection, by the trial Customary Court. The law is well settled to the effect that where the Court creates an enabling environment for fair hearing to all the parties in an action and a party does not take full advantage of that environment to assert its own position, the fault cannot be that of the Court but of the party concerned. Bill Construction Co Ltd v. Imani & sons Ltd (2006) 19 NWLR (pt. 1013) 1 at 14; Akinduro v. Alaya (2007) All FWLR (pt. 381) 1653 at 1673.

In the instant case, the record of appeal at page 35 lines 19 – 24 and also at page 36 lines 8 – 16 thereof, clearly evince as crystals, the engagements between the trial Customary Court and the

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appellant as the defendant at the locus in quo inspection, such that any complaint of lack of fair hearing at the instance of the appellant paled into insignificance and ignominy. The complaint of lack of fair hearing, in the circumstances of this case, is fluffy and without merits. Hence, issue 2 is resolved against the appellant.
With respect to issue 3, the appellant’s contention is that since the decision of the three arbitral bodies which had considered the dispute between the parties, were not tendered and admitted into evidence, the trial Customary Court ought not to have relied upon them, in reaching its own decision on the matter.
He insisted that the Court below was wrong to have affirmed the judgment of the trial Customary Court which was premised on the said decisions of the arbitral bodies, in question.
Learned respondents’ counsel on his part, submitted that there is nothing on record showing that the trial Customary Court relied entirely on all the previous decisions of the three arbitral bodies. Instead, the trial Customary Court’s decision was predicated on the evaluation of the evidence proffered before it.
The essence and efficacy of Customary Arbitration was restated succinctly, by the Supreme Court in Raphael Agu v. Christian Ozurumba Ikewibe (1991) 3 NWLR [pt. 180) 385; (1991) 4 SCNJ 56; (1991) LPELR – 253 (SC) at P. 26 – 29by the Learned Law Lord – Karibi – Whyte, JSC, to the effect that:
“It is well accepted that one of the many African Customary modes of settling dispute is to refer the dispute to the family head or an elder or elders of the community for a compromise solution based upon the subsequent acceptance by both parties of the suggested award, which becomes binding only after such signification of its acceptance, and from which either party is free to resile at any stage of the proceedings up to that point. This is a common method of settling disputes in all indigenous Nigerian societies. It is this kind of arbitration which the Court considered in Assampong v. Kweku & Ors (1932) 1 WACA 192. In Phillip Njoku v. Felix Ekeocha (1972) 2 ECLR 199 Ikpeazu, J., held that “Where a body of men, be they chiefs or otherwise, act as arbitrators over a dispute between two parties, their decision shall have a binding effect, if it is shown firstly that both parties submitted to the arbitration. Secondly that the parties accepted the terms of the arbitration, and thirdly, that they agreed to be bound by the decision, such decision has the same authority as the judgment of a judicial body and will be binding on the parties and thus create an estoppel.” This is a good and acceptable definition of Customary Arbitration. In Mbagbu v. Agochukwu (1973) 3 E. C. S. L. R. (pt. 1) p. 90 the issue was whether a dispute taken to a local non-judicial body of elders for settlement was binding on the parties. It was held that the decision was binding if accepted at the time it was made. If so accepted it could not thereafter be rejected. In this case, plaintiff reported the defendant to the Amala of Isi Eke (a body of Elders of Isi Eke) complaining of the trespass by the defendant who invaded his farm and harvested certain economic crops. According to the plaintiff, the Amala of Isi Eke with Ihegiro Amaechi as the Chairman, decided that the land in dispute belonged to plaintiff’s father and therefore to him. Defendant was dissatisfied with the decision of the Amalas or Elders of Isi-Eke, and referred the dispute to one Chief Nnadi of Isi Ekenesie who summoned the parties to his house to settle the dispute. The dispute was so referred to Chief Nnadi of Isi Ekenesie by defendant, who refused to take the oath before the Amalas of Isi eke, to confirm his claim to ownership of the land in dispute. Plaintiff and Defendant voluntarily submitted to each of the arbitration bodies, and provided the drinks and food for the members who arbitrated.
Equere Inyang v. Simeon Essien (1957) 2 F. S. C.39; (1957 SCNLR 112 was a case where

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the dispute was taken out of Court for settlement by the Imam Council, which is not a Native Court. It is clear from the record that the parties understood that the Imam Council was to settle the matter for them. This was the evidence of both the plaintiff and defendants’ witnesses. Thus whatever decision which was not acceptable to either of the parties was not binding. The arbitrator failed to settle the matter and make peace between the parties. The Federal Supreme Court distinguished this case from the early case of Assampong v. Amaku (supra) on the ground that the latter was a Native Court and its decision had binding effect. Not so, the instant case, with due respect the facts of the case do not support such a distinction. The persons who constituted the panel in Assampong v. Amaku, were appointed by two paramount chiefs to adjudicate upon the dispute. Similarly, the Iman Council was composed of Chiefs. Neither is a judicial body. They were constituted in accordance with native law.
In Idika v. Erisi (1988) 2 NWLR (pt. 78) at 573, the Supreme Court recognised and accepted the validity of Customary Arbitration. The two sides relied on the Customary Arbitration and each claiming the decision of the arbitration in his favour. The trial judge having not made a specific finding of fact on the crucial issues raised on the pleadings, the Court of Appeal was right to have ordered a re-trial. It can be deduced from the above decisions that Nigeria law recognizes arbitrations at customary law which is distinct and different from arbitrations under Statute, if the following conditions are satisfied:
(a) If parties voluntarily submit their disputes to a non-judicial body, to wit, their Elders or chiefs as the case may be for determination; and
(b) The indication of the willingness of the parties to be bound by the decision of the non-judicial body or freedom to reject the decision were not satisfied.
(c) That neither of the parties has resiled from the decision so pronounced.
These conditions are present in Assampong v. Amaku & Ors (supra); Mbagbu v. Agochukwu (supra); Phillip Njoku v. Ekeocha (supra); Ofomata v. Anoka (supra), Mensal v. Takyiampong 6 WACA 118; Kwasi v. Larbi (1952) 13 WACA 76 and many others. The conditions were not present in Foli v. Larbi (1930) 1 WACA 1, where the arbitration was not conducted by an Elder, Chief or members of the indigenous society in the traditional judicial process, but by a Judge of the Supreme Court. Customary Law has been described by Bairaman F. J., in Owonyin v. Omotosho(1961) 1 All NLR 304; (1961) 2 SCNLR 57 as “a mirror of accepted usuage.” It is existing native law and custom and not ancient custom with which present generation cannot be linked. Customary Arbitration referred to is the prevailing practice of arbitral process or arbitration governed by rules of customary law. Our Customary Arbitration still maintains its flexibility and in the words of Osborne, C.J., in Lewis v. Bankole (1909) 1 NLR 100 – 101.
“…. it appears to have been always subject to motives of expediency, and it shows unquestionable adaptability to altered circumstances without entirely losing its character.”
The practice of Chiefs or Elders of the community settling disputes between members of their community is both recognized by our legal system and is not in conflict with the exercise of the judicial powers of the Constitution of 1979.”
In the instant case, the trial Customary Court in its judgment at page 42 of the record of appeal, said:
“Based on the facts available to, and evidence given before this honourable Court including decisions of Umu Ezeam Enyi Kindred, Enugu Ezeachi village and Igwe Cabinet, this Court rules as follows”
Then,

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the Court below, with respect to the previous arbitral bodies and the attitude of the trial Customary Court to them, at page 123 – 124 of the record of appeal, had this to say:
“Evidence about the previous arbitral decisions of certain fora on the case given by parties and their witnesses did not have to be bereft of any probative value simply because written copies of the decisions were not tendered before the lower Court. It sufficed that testimonies about them were given by one party and not denied by the other. This is more so because it was not in evidence that the said arbitral bodies rendered final awards in writing and/or that the suit before the lower Court was to enforce such written awards/verdict.
Evidence about the various decisions of Umuezeam Enyi Kindred, the Enugu Ezeachi village and/or the Igwe’s cabinet were as to the various efforts made in the past to settle the dispute before bringing up the suit to the lower Court. In view of that, the lower Court did not rely entirely on any or all of the said previous decisions. This is why the lower Court expressly made it clear that its judgment was, “based on the facts available to, and evidences (sic) before this honourable Court, including decisions of Umuezeam Enyi kindred, Enugu Ezeachi village and Igwe’s cabinet …. ” The Records of this appeal discloses that the lower Court made its independent findings which informed and justified its judgment. The implication is that although it made mention of the said previous decisions of some arbitral bodies, if that mention is expunged, the final judgment of the lower Court will still stand based on concrete evidence adduced directly before it.”
In the light of the foregoings, on this issue, I am unable to agree with the contention of learned senior counsel to the appellant that, the judgment of the trial Customary Court was largely predicated on the three previous arbitral bodies aforementioned. I am in total agreement with the conclusion reached by the Court below that even if the decisions of the previous three arbitral bodies, were expunged from the record at the trial, there were other concrete pieces of evidence, which supported the judgment of the trial Customary Court. I must not forget to say that there is no law and the learned senior counsel to the appellant, did not refer to any such law or decided authority of this Court and of the Supreme Court, to the effect that where an arbitral body had deliberated on a dispute, the decision of such an arbitral body must be tendered and admitted into evidence before any probative value can be ascribed to the arbitral decision. I am satisfied and in agreement with the submission of Dr. Anyogu, for the respondents, to the effect that where witnesses in a matter which had been deliberated upon by an arbitral body, gave evidence of such arbitral proceedings and their pieces of evidence thereon, are believed by the trial Court, the non-tendering and non-admission into evidence of the arbitral proceedings, became of no significant import to the case.
In the end, I resolve issue 3 against the appellant.
With respect to issue 4, it is the appellant’s contention that both the trial Customary Court and the Court below did not properly appraise the evidence of Malachy Eze with regard to the payment of tributes with “banana heads” to the appellant’s family.
I have myself perused the evidence proffered by Malachy Eze as the witness No. II for the appellant at pages 27 – 28 of the record of appeal. Essentially, the evidence proffered by Malachy Eze, was a recount or rehash of the report with respect to the land in dispute, by Nwaobodo Agubuchie to Enugu Ezeachi Kindred. Let us hear him:
“He (meaning Nwaobodo Agubuchie) told Enugu Ezeachi people that no one except his father and other after him had ever worked there. He also claimed that where Ozo Chinyelugo now lives was given to the father Njoku Onwudinjo. He went on to say that Njoku was paying tribute with banana heads.”
The trial Customary Court’s reference to Malachy Eze’s evidence is at page 40.6. b. of the record of appeal, thus:

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“b. Malachy Eze told the Court that Njoku was paying tribute with banana heads. It would have been interesting to know who stopped that customary exercise and what the reactions of Agubuchie family was towards that.”
I understand the trial Customary Court as saying that if there was the payment of customary tributes with “banana heads” by the Njoku Onwudinjo family to the Agubuchie family, why was that customary practice of payment of tributes with banana heads, stopped and who stopped it? Perhaps, the trial Customary Court wanted to hear more about the customary practice of the payment of tributes with banana heads, but there was dearth of evidence on it from Malachy Eze who was the only witness who mentioned the said customary practice. Not even the appellant himself gave evidence with respect to the customary practice of payment of tributes with banana heads. Hence, just like the Court below, I feel that the curiosity expressed by the trial Customary Court, in the circumstances was apt.
I must confess that I am unable to fathom, what prosperity that the appellant’s contention under this issue, had added to his grouch against the judgment of the Court below. I have no hesitation, in resolving this issue against the appellant. And it is so resolved.
In the end, apart from issue 1, the appeal fails on all the other issues ventilated/canvassed and discussed herein. Therefore, the appeal succeeds in part only. However, for the avoidance of doubt, all the consequential orders made by the trial Customary Court, at pages 42 – 44 of the record of appeal and affirmed by the Court below, with the exception of the 8th order thereof, are hereby further affirmed, by me.
Each side shall bear its own costs.
RITA NOSAKHARE PEMU, J.C.A.: I had the advantage of reading in draft, the lead judgment just delivered by my brother TOM SHAIBU YAKUBU J.C.A.
I agree with his reasoning and conclusions.
The appeal succeeds in part and I hereby abide by the consequential order made as to costs.
MISITURA OMODERE BOLAJI-YUSUFF J.C.A.: I have read the draft of the judgment delivered by my learned brother, TOM SHAIBU YAKUBU, JCA. I agree with his reasoning and conclusions therein. I abide by the consequential orders made therein.

Appearances

Chief O. Ugolo, SAN. With him, I. Iloani, Esq. For Appellant

AND

Dr. Z. C. Anyogu. With him, P. C. Onwudinjo, Esq. For Respondent

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