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OHAJI/EGBEMA/OGUTA LOCAL GOVERNMENT V. CHIEF WILSON ETITI

(2000) JELR 44151 (CA)

Court of Appeal  •  CA/PH/17/91  •  11 Jul 2000  •  Nigeria

Coram
JAMES OGENYI OGEBE JCA; IGNATIUS CHUKWUDI PATS-ACHOLONU JCA; MICHAEL EYARUOMA AKPIROROH JCA;

Judgement

PATS-ACHOLONU, J.C.A. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): I shall begin this judgment by warning of the dangers inherent in short circuited judgments on land cases in particular. In 1997, an autonomous community known as Eziorsu in the Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta Local Government Area approached the Local Government to build a modern market. The community thereafter which is defendant/appellant in the case caused work to begin on that land. However, to the surprise of the community and the appellant, the plaintiff/respondent stopped the work as he was alleging trespass on the land. This was followed by a letter from his counsel to the appellant demanding payment of damages. Thereafter, the plaintiff/respondent commenced civil action against the appellant. The appellant briefed one Mr. Nsofor who apparently due to his inadvertence did not take further steps by filing a statement of defence. Then the respondent applied for judgment in default and to this effect, service was effected through the c…

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