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H. R. H. EZE OLIVER OKORIE & ORS v. SUNDAY CHUKWU & ANOR

(2018) JELR 38617 (CA)

Court of Appeal  •  CA/OW/366/2017  •  17 Jul 2018  •  Nigeria

Coram
RAPHAEL CHIKWE AGBO JCA; AYOBODE OLUJIMI LOKULO-SODIPE JCA; TUNDE OYEBANJI AWOTOYE JCA;

Judgement

RAPHAEL CHIKWE AGBO, J.C.A.(Delivering the Leading Judgment): In determining the application for committal in suit no. HUM/30/2014, the trial Court relied on his resolution of the affidavits of the contending parties. The trial judge resolved the said dispute by sending his Registrar to visit the property, the subject matter of his injunctive order to find out whether in fact there had been any action by the Appellants infringing the Courts order. The said Registrar visited the property and deposed to an affidavit where he averred that the Appellants indeed infringed the said order. The Court on the basis of this affidavit convicted and sentenced the Appellants. This procedure is of doubtful validity. This is because the application to commit for civil contempt is in the nature of a criminal charge and the rules relating to criminal charges are therefore applicable. See Yekinni Abbas and Ors v. Olatunji Solomon and Ors. (2001) 15 NWLR (pt 735) 144. That means that the Appellants inter…

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