OGEBE, J.C.A. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): The Appellants sued the Respondent in the Customary Court of Eziama Ikeduru seeking a declaration that they are entitled to the customary right of occupancy to a piece of land known as 'Ala onu Nkoro', trespass and injunction. The Appellants gave evidence and closed their case.
When it was the turn of the Respondent to open his defence, the learned Counsel for him wrote a letter to the court enclosing a photostat copy of an excuse duty certificate which placed him on bed rest for 21 days. He asked for an adjournment. The Respondent himself was not in court.
The learned Counsel for the Appellants opposed the application for adjournment and the court closed the case of the Respondent and gave judgment in favour of the appellants.
The respondent appealed to the Customary Court of Appeal, Imo State, and one of the grounds of appeal alleged that the respondent was not given fair hearing. The Customary Court of Appeal allowed the appeal only…