EJEMBI EKO, JCA (Delivering the leading judgment): The appellants were the Defendants in the suit NO.CC/ISK/9/94 at the Customary Court of Imo State in the Ideato South District sitting at Isiekenesi. The Respondent was the Plaintiff in that court.
The Customary Court (hereinafter called "the trial court") delivered its judgment on 24th May, 1996 declaring inter alia that
1. The plaintiff, Mathias Ihezuo is entitled to the customary right of occupancy of the Ala Okpulo Ayirigwe or Okpotokpo Ayirigwe situate and lying at Umuju Umuobomin Ideato South Local Government Area on survey plan No. ASA/IMD/55/94 prepared by Surveyor J.O. Agugua, Owerri.
2. All the economic trees on the land belong to the plaintiff Mathias Ihezuo except the mahogany tree which the defendant cut down being one of the causes of action. This Court orders that the first defendant be allowed to make use of that mahogany tree only.
Aggrieved by the judgment of the trial court the appellants, who were the defendants, l…