EDOZIE, JCA (Delivering the Lead Judgment): Proceedings leading to this appeal relate to two substantive suits, viz, suit No. HU/322/95 and suit No. HT/20/97 hereinafter to be referred to as the 1995 and 1997 suits respectively.
In the 1995 suit filed at the Uyo High Court presumably on 30/10/ 95, the appellant, as plaintiff, sought against the respondents reliefs reflected in paragraph 18 of the statement of claim:-
“18. The plaintiff, therefore, feels aggrieved and claims from the defendants as follows:-
(1) A declaration that the plaintiff is the recognised village head of Nkara Obio.
(2) An injunction to restrain the 2nd - 5th defendants from acting on false documents published to them by lst defendant to dethrone the plaintiff as Nkara Obio village head.
(3) Payment of N500,000.00 damages by 1st defendant to the plaintiff for the defamation of the plaintiff by publishing false documents to 2nd - 5th defendants to act against plaintiff’s interest (i.e. to remove plaintiff as the vill…