RHODES- VIVOUR, J.C.A. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): On 15/11/2000, Ukachukwu, J., sitting in the Orlu High Court, in Imo State entered judgment in favour of the plaintiff/respondent in suit No. HOR/16/98.
The concluding part of the judgment reads:
"My view is that the said document exhibit 'A' has the effect of defaming the plaintiff and thereby lowering his image and estimation before right thinking members of the society ...
I therefore hold that the plaintiff has proved the case against the defendants. I award N500,000 damages to the plaintiff against the defendants jointly and severally.
There will also be cost to plaintiff assessed at N3,000.00.
Dissatisfied with the judgment against them, the defendants/appellants quickly filed a notice of appeal on 27/11/2000, that is to say twelve days after judgment was delivered.
In accordance with Order 6 rules 2, 4(1) of the Court of Appeal Rules, the defendants, now the appellants filed their brief on 17/9/01. The respondent's br…