RHODES-VIVOUR JSC (Delivering the Lead Judgment): The A respondent as plaintiff sued the appellants as defendants on a writ of summons and statement of claim which reads:
“The plaintiff claims against the defendants jointly, severally or in the alternative as follows:
The sum of N10,000,000.00 (ten million naira) being the sum for unlawful arrest, unlawful/wrongful detention, malicious prosecution and abuse of legal process. And for such further orders that the court deems fit to meet with the justice in this case. The plaintiff filed a thirty-five (35) paragraph statement of defence on 10 February 1997.
The appellants i.e. the 1st and 2nd defendants filed a four (4) paragraph statement of defence on 5 March 1997.
The 3rd to 7th appellants’ as the 3rd to 7th defendants did not file a statement of defence.
At the trial which commenced on 21 January 1998, it was only the respondent as plaintiff who testified in support of his case. Documents were admitted in evidence as exhibits A, A1, A2,…