⦿ CASE SUMMARY OF:
Sharing Cross Educational Services Limited v. Umaru Adamu Enterprises Limited & Ors (2020) – SC
– Additional evidence;
Sharing Cross Educational Services Ltd;
1. Umaru Adamu Enterprises Ltd (Suing through its Attorney, Umaru Yusuf NIG. Ltd);
2. The Federal Capital Development Authority (F.C.D.A);
3. Ministry Of The Federal Capital Territory;
⦿ LEAD JUDGEMENT DELIVERED BY:
Ejembi Eko, JSC.
⦿ LAWYERS WHO ADVOCATED
* FOR THE APPELLANT
– O. Akon, SAN;
* FOR THE RESPONDENT
– O. I. Olorundare SAN (for the 1st respondent);
⦿ FACT (as relating to the issues)
The 1st Respondent was the plaintiff in the suit No. FCT/HC/CV.50/2006. The suit filed at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja was before Folasade Ojo, J.
The 1st Respondent had challenged the 2nd and 3rd Respondents herein for the alleged unconstitutional revocation of its Statutory Right of Occupancy over plot No. 595 along Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja granted since 1994. It had built up structures thereon and was in possession of the said plot. The said title was allegedly revoked and the plot re-allocated to the Appellant/Applicant who, on 24th September, 2006, physically took over possession of the plot from the 1st Respondent.
The 1st Respondent in the said suit claimed that the allocation of its plot to the Applicant was spurious and further that the 2nd and 3rd Respondents at the instigation of the Applicant on 24th September, 2006 sent their agents to pull down its existing structures on the land.
The trial Court heard the suit and entered judgment for the 1st Respondent on 25th July 2009. All the reliefs sought by the 1st Respondent including a declaration that the statutory Right of Occupancy enured and subsisted in the 1st Respondent and the injunctive orders to restrain the Applicant and the 2nd and 3rd Respondent’s from disputing the 1st Respondent title and/or entering the said plot were entered in favour of the 1st Respondent. The 2nd and 3rd Respondents seem to accept and succumb to the judgment of the trial Court.
Subsequent to the judgment, they issued a new Certificate of Occupancy, Exhibit A1, to reinstate the old Certificate of Occupancy they had purportedly revoked, the revocation of which was one of the grievances that prompted the 1st Respondent’s suit at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
The Appellant’s appeal at the Court of Appeal, seeking to upturn the decision of the Trial Court was dismissed; hence this further appeal.
⦿ RELIEFS SOUGHT BY THE APPELLANT
1. An order granting the Applicant leave to adduce or produce and rely on the document annexed to the affidavit in support of the instant application as Exhibit A1 as additional evidence at the hearing of this appeal to wit:
a) Photocopy of the certified true copy of Certificate of Occupancy NO. 1996 W-17c 2b- 3d 57r-6585 u-60 dated 12th March 2010, registered as No. 8324 at 8324 in Volume 42 of the Certificate of Occupancy Register in the Land Registry Office.
⦿ HOLDING & RATIO DECIDENDI
[APPEAL: DISMISSED WITH N500,000 COST AGAINST THE APPELLANT]
1. RELIEF 1 WAS DISCOUNTENANCED BY THE COURT, THE COURT STATED:
“We are in this case dealing with concurrent findings of fact that the 2nd and 3rd Respondents did not serve on the 1st Respondent the appropriate notices before her Right of Occupancy over plot No. 595, along Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II Abuja was revoked. The 2nd and 3rd Respondents by submitting to that judgment and issuing Exhibit A1 have accepted that finding of fact. On the basis of all I have been saying anon, I find no exceptional or special circumstances that warrant the grant of Relief No. 1. This is not just a Court of law. It is also a Court of justice. It does not run a “tools shop” from where the Appellant/Applicant can obtain a repair kit to enable her repair her case at the trial Court”;
*Chima Centus Nweze, JSC
i. In this application, the applicant has shown that it was impossible to tender the document [the additional evidence] in evidence before the trial Court because it was issued after the trial Court had delivered its judgment on July 28, 2009. On the other hand, Exhibit A1 was issued on March 12, 2010. This makes it crystal clear that the evidence, sought to be adduced as fresh evidence, could not have been obtained for use at the trial Court, see pages 819 – 856 for the judgment of the trial Court; also, paragraphs 13 and 17 of the affidavit in support of the applicant’s application under reference for the material depositions].
Section 29 (9) of the Supreme Court, CAP 15, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004;
Order 2, Rule 12 of the Supreme Court Rules;
⦿ SOME PROVISIONS
⦿ RELEVANT CASES
⦿ NOTABLE DICTA
It is trite that the Rules of Court, not made for fun, are meant to be obeyed. – Ejembi Eko, JSC. SHARING v. UMARU (2020)
Lawyers, like the deponent of all the four affidavits in support of this application, who [are] defying Rule 20(1) & (3) of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2007 by acting as witnesses for their clients in hostile or contentious matters should be reminded that doing so is unethical, and further that the occasion of their deposition on oath should not be another occasion for written addresses. – Ejembi Eko, JSC. SHARING v. UMARU (2020)
Whoever desires any Court to give judgment as to any legal right or liability dependent on the existence of facts 7 which he asserts must prove that those empirical facts exist. – Ejembi Eko, JSC. SHARING v. UMARU (2020)
The general rule guiding the exercise of appellate jurisdiction is to enable the superior Court correct the errors of fact or law by the inferior Court. The errors in or correctness of the decision of the inferior Court can only be properly determined by the same evidential materials before that Court. – Ejembi Eko, JSC. SHARING v. UMARU (2020)